Extraordinary Christian Testimonies that Expose John Macarthur’s  Church as a Mind Control Cult

Cult Education Institute hosts a discussion forum for “Ex members of John Macarthur’s church.”  Some of these ex-members have testified convincingly that John Macarthur’s Grace Community Church is a cult. The following Christian testimonies have been excerpted from that discussion board.
 
I have been researching John Macarthur’s cult for a number of years and it’s my belief that the following testimonies very accurately describe what’s going on within his ministries. ​ And I find it remarkable how these different testimonies corroborate each other.  I have learned very much from reading these testimonies and I believe the reader will as well.  They are most eye-opening.
 
First Testimony: A Former Student who Attended John Macarthur’s The Masters College
Second Testimony: A parent whose children attend Grace Community Church
Third Testimony: A man who has witnessed churches destroyed by Macarthur’s disciples
Forth Testimony: A Christian who has been damaged by John Macarthur and his followers
Fifth Testimony: A Christian who has experienced the Cultic control techniques of Macarthur’s disciples
Sixth Testimony: A Christian whose daughter is a member of Macarthur’s church
Seventh Testimony: A Christian regarding the destruction of Christians churches infiltrated by Macarthur’s disciples
Eighth Testimony: A Christian whose father’s church was taken over by Macarthur’s “sect.”
Ninth Testimony: A Christian who knows John Macarthur personally and who was a member of Grace Church for 20 years
Tenth Testimony: A Christian who spent many years in a Macarthur-network church

​1. Testimony of a Former Student who Attended John Macarthur’s The Masters College

Posted by: bjw
Date: September 09, 2010 12:43AM
 
I was in this cult 12 years ago for 2 years when I got suckered into going to his college right out of high school. I haven’t been to this board in awhile but I’m glad I’ve found others that are willing to talk about it. It is a very destructive counseling cult that masquerades as Christianity, and you are not told how they really believe until you have paid your money and moved onto the campus. After my folks gave their life savings to send me to “college” it was too late to leave. It has more in common with Scientology than it does Christianity, they make members refuse psychiatric treatment of any kind as well as sign a release just like Scientology. They offer a kind of counseling they call “Nouthetic” counseling or something like that where all problems in your life, be it depression, anxiety, etc. are said to be your fault and caused by unconfessed sin in your life, which you get rid of by confessing to your counselor. Counselors pay thousands of dollars to get degrees in this counseling. There have been two high profile suicides in the church, one of which occured while I was there when a girl named Angelica took an overdose of heroine in her dormroom.
 
They offer a very attractive pitch to go to their “college” and claim that it is non-denominational Christianity, in that they accept all denominations as long as you are Christian. In reality it is a way to slowly indoctrinate you into MacArthur’s twisted belief system, which many accept within the first several months, but to the ones that don’t they use very aggressive and hostile tactics to try to pressure you into accepting it. You are not permitted to question anything, and if you have doubts or disagreements with any of MacArthur’s teachings or his staff it is said to be because of unconfessed sin in your life. It took many months of psychotherapy after I left this cult to get my life back in order. My therepist immediately recognized this as a cult when I explained to him what I went through.
 
I have been afraid to speak out because I know they will come up with some false witnesses to refute what I’m saying, but if I can find others that have had similar experiences I would not be afraid to speak out. If we could stop just one person from being taken in by this cult it would be worth it. I believe they should be allowed to practice whatever they want under freedom of religion, but not when it destroys people’s lives, and not when they trap unsuspecting Christians into their scam…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: September 09, 2010 07:18AM
 
The church threatened me with litigation while I was leaving over something totally made up. Also, one of my friends got out six months before I did and they told all his friends he renounced Christianity (which was false, he just renounced MacArthur’s beliefs) when in reality he went back to his home church he was in before the cult. He lost all his friends over that, who completely shunned him. I was asked by them once to separate from my father because he disagreed with MacArthur’s lordship views. I met a man in my support group whose wife left him because she joined the church and he didn’t agree with the theology.
 
…this church does nothing but ruin lives. Myself and two friends I made there nearly had our lives ruined, and I know there were more that left because the pressure to accept this man’s [John Macarthur] lies were too great….
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: September 10, 2010 10:44AM
 
When they sent their recruiter to my high school I was told that MacArthur was pastor of a large church in the LA area, but was assured that the college was made up of various Christian denominations and that the school was non-denominational. The only requirement was to be a bible-believing Christian. They said I would be required to attend a church of my choice and would have to minor in Bible, but that the classes would be taught from a non-denominational standpoint with students from different denominations of Christianity. Once I got there this was obviously no the case. I had no idea what “Lordship Salvation,” “Nouthetic Counseling” or any of MacArthur’s unique doctrine or terminology was. When I got there and first expressed concern about it, I was told at first that MacArthur more than likely believed the same way I did, he just expressed it in a different way. So they really do make the indoctrination process rather slow at first…
 
In addition to forcing you to minor in their Bible classes, making you attend two church services and three chapel services per week, attend dorm and small group Bible studies, if you are known to disagree with any of their doctrines you are constantly being confronted either from staff or students that are church members. If you disagree with Lordship Salvation you are told that you may be “self-deceived” and were not really saved when you accepted Christ. At this point they usually insist that you see a counselor that will talk to you about your life to find out if you have unconfessed sin. One of their members kicked me in the shins real hard and told me I was going to hell. Eventually several students even threatened me with physical violence when I wouldn’t want to accept what they teach. I do not believe that works are necessary for salvation, and MacArthur teaches that you must be constantly demonstrating you are saved by doing works, constantly increasing the amount of works as you “mature.” They believe that only those that accept Lordship Salvation are saved, and this is kept from you during the first few months. I eventually read “Faith Works” and “The Gospel According to Jesus” and it was obvious to me that his beliefs are not compatable with Christianity.
 
After so many attempts to get you to believe it fail, eventually everyone around you that has accepted it will shun you to the point that they will not even speak to you, and if they do they talk to you like you are an animal. It’s hard to live in an environment where you can’t eat around people in the cafeteria, make friends, or even have a friendly conversation. You feel like an outcast. It was hard to not cave-in to the peer pressure, and the counselor they make you see picks apart your life to find things that they use to say you are unsaved, be it the music you like, the movies you watch, going to theme parks more often than you go witnessing. It’s a very works-oriented cult, and they even said I was going to Hell for refusing to go on a missions trip for them (during Spring Break) to the most dangerous part of South Central Los Angeles instead of going to take care of my grandmother and aunt who were both sick at my home…
 
My therapist also said that after examining MacArthur’s teachings, he believed MacArthur himself may suffer from bipolar disorder, or have an inflated sense of self with grandiose thoughts the way cult leaders and dictators often have. After knowing the man personally, I could definitely see that…
 
This group has a heavy “end justifies the means” mentality. For instance, when I would get attacked physically at the campus not one person around there would witness for me, and when I would turn the person in at the Student Life office any witnesses around would say I made the whole thing up. They use false witnesses a lot, such as the shin-kicking incident I mentioned earlier. Similar to Scientology’s fair game doctrine, the church will not discipline anyone that lies against or does harm to someone hostile to the church or MacArthur’s teachings. While they believe a strict works doctrine, it goes out the window when it comes to protecting the church and other members.
 
I sent a 10 page report of what I went through to a Christian ministry that is dedicated to exposing MacArthur and other cults and they were going to publish it on their website with the names changed but I stopped them at the last minute because I remembered the threats they made at me before and I know they have a good legal team. I’m still considering it after I can get an attorney to read the report and confirm there’s nothing in there they could possibly use to come after me with legally…
 
At the time my dad was buying heavily into the free-grace movement led by Bob George of People to People Ministries. My beliefs at the time were also heading in this direction, although the high school I came out of was Reformed. I talked to John MacArthur about George’s views in his office and he told me that he knew I loved my father, but it was time I made a choice. He looked at me very cross when he said that and I knew what he meant. This was actually common, I met several students in various small group Bible studies I was in that wouldn’t have anything to do with their families because they favored “easy believism” and would not accept Lordship Salvation. That’s probably the most sad element of this cult. Parents send their kids off to college only to have them give up all their time to this church, even during vacations they go on missions trips to spread Lordship doctrine and don’t even go home. While some go home, it was common for them to keep one dorm open during breaks for kids coming and going on missions trips.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: September 11, 2010 02:27AM
 
…They frown on any Christians that do not teach Lordship Salvation, and feel if you do reject it there must be something in your life like unconfessed sin. Many in Bible studies I was in felt this way about teachers like Charles Ryrie and Billy Graham, saying there must be something in their lives we don’t know about that is sinful and preventing them from accepting Lordship Salvation. These people are said to be “self-deceived” and thus not saved.
 
The only provision they give for outsiders to be saved is that they are keeping MacArthur’s beliefs without knowing it and just don’t call it Lordship Salvation.
 
Posted by: bjw Date: September 11, 2010 11:57AM
 
Charles Ryrie is extremely looked down upon in the Lordship movement for writing his book “So Great Salvation.” The students there used to call him “Liarie Ryrie.” MacArthur wrote a book called “Forgiveness” that has a chapter that really puts down the free grace movement, particularly Bob George’s People to People ministries. In MacArthur’s books he calls the grace of the free grace movement “cheap grace” because it is said to not be able to save a person. So, the answer is no, the higher ups never corrected anyone for saying free-gracers are not saved.
 
MacArthur’s books “The Gospel According to Jesus” and “Faith Works: the Gospel According to the Apostles” are an intro to MacArthur’s views on salvation and how he feels about those that disagree with him (he calls all Christians that don’t agree with him “Non-lordship salvation” even though many have varying views). In fact, the intro flap on “Faith Works” in the edition that was around 10 years ago says that the book is a stark contrast from the “easy gospel” being taught by most of Christianity. These books are a good setup to the us vs. them mentality that is later taught if one pursues membership in the church, or goes to the college/seminary…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: September 11, 2010 12:48PM
 
This is a good example of what I was talking about. I do not reject any of the gospel because John MacArthur does not teach the gospel. It is a counseling cult that masquerades as Christianity, with a merit, works-based system in which one must do more and more, getting better and better all the time or else they are not saved.
 
In the back of the MacArthur Study Bible is a list called “Character of Genuine Saving Faith” which has a list of about 20 items that must be present in your life to merit salvation. You must constantly increase the abundance of these things and answer to a mentor, a “more mature Christian” (usually a small group leader or church appointed counselor that has paid thousands of dollars to the church to take “Nouthetic” counseling classes) who will evaluate how you are doing. Not doing enough (not topping your last progress) is grounds for discipline, or as they call it “stumbling.” If you stumble over the same thing 3 times in a row you are shunned, or as they call it “treated as a pagan or a tax collector.” Friends are made to constantly report on each other, and when they catch someone “stumbling” if the person was considered more mature than you, you are not allowed to question their findings. (There were signs up all through the dorm halls saying “Am I making sure everyone else is engaged in holy living?”) You are not allowed to see a psychologist or psychiatrist as MacArthur feels these are a conspiracy to infiltrate Christianity by the evolutionists, and should you have depression, anxiety, etc. and want counseling you must sign a release stating that GCC will not be sued should you be injured or committ suicide while in their care. The longer you are in is the more authoritarian the church becomes over your life to the point that most of your free time is spent serving the church or witnessing, mostly to other churches who do not accept Lordship Salvation. You are constantly reminded that not doing enough works means you do not have genuine saving faith, thus condemning you to burn in hell for eternity.
 
Now, I do not consider this the Gospel because it is an authoritarian cult that gets people by deception and ruins lives. My view is that our salvation, that is, us not burning in hell eternally, is only accomplished through the blood of Christ, not through any works or merit-based system, and not by learning any theology or going to any church. My view of the function of churches is to give us a place to grow spiritually and do works not because we’re trying to prove we are saved but because we are receiving blessings from a loving Heavenly Father that are both in this world and in the rewards we will receive in the world to come. Remember, the Bible says salvation is not by works lest any man should boast.
 
…When I first got there and I would ask questions about what I heard they would say that I probably already believe like they do, I just understand it differently or use different terminology. When they use the word “Christian” they are using it to mean those that have what they consider “genuine saving faith.” The word grace to them, as in the name of the church, refers only to God’s grace in giving them the opportunity to enter the lordship/discipleship committment that MacArthur teaches, and not a “free” gift as most Christians would understand, since MacArthur’s books say that all non-Lordship churches believe in “cheap grace.” To the unsuspecting public this church would seem like it is run of the mill Christianity with words like “grace,” “salvation,” and “Christian” being used so freely, but a careful reading of MacArthur’s books will reveal that this is not the case.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: September 12, 2010 08:56AM
 
It was common for people to doubt their salvation. The guy living in the dorm room next to mine was having trouble sleeping nights because he was afraid he wasn’t doing enough for the Lord. He even dumped his girlfriend and cut out most extra activities to serve the church [not Christ?] to the point where he was burned out. Being in this group really is a depressing world view. They say it is “eternal security,’ but it is only secure to the extent that you are constantly showing evidence, or else you may discover you were “self-deceived” and not saved…
 
These signs that were up were the invention of MacArthur’s second-in-command Mark Tatlock and was typical of MacArthur’s extreme interpretation of Matthew 18. It’s all about evidence and constantly proving you have genuine saving faith. It is a very confrontation based system where it is common for people to call you out on things that you must repent of.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: September 13, 2010 12:36AM
 
In my opinion what makes this church a cult is not necessarily its doctrine or the fact that they have elevated MacArthur to such a high status, but is the way the doctrine is presented and how the church and college is ran…I think the whole mind-control process, the way you are slowly indoctrinated, and the authoritarian way that every aspect of your life is controlled by the group is what makes it a cult.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: September 15, 2010 03:14AM
 
MacArthur has a very charismatic personality, and very easily charms his followers. He also makes himself seem very intelligent by using Greek/Hebrew and theological terms. He makes people think that Christianity is headed down the wrong path and that he’s attempting to get it back to the way it was originally, and he’s very good at “hopscotching” through Bible verses to get people to believe this. It is definitely a very carefully crafted scheme that is good at suckering people in.
 
I also believe that MacArthur has many accomplices in how this cult is ran, such as the Nouthetic counseling in which I know he recruited several different authors to staff the counseling department at the college that teaches the Nouthetic Counseling classes, some have extensive psychology backgrounds, and I’m sure a lot of the counseling ideas were borrowed from L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Dianetics and Nouthetic both contain the Greek root word “Nous” and I know Scientology claims that Dianetics comes from the Greek “Dia” and “Nous” which is also the root of “Nouthetic.” While Dianetics deals with healing mental illness by ridding the mind of past “abberations,” MacArthur’s brand of Nouthetic counseling deals with healing mental illness by going through the mind’s past experiences and searching for unconfessed sin, and ridding the mind of it by confessing the sins. So, it really is a similar concept in confronting past experiences. Also, both make the person sign a release and forsake any kind of psychology or psychiatry, and both see these as a conspiracy.
 
I’m not sure how he came up with the ideas for the salvation doctrines, but I can imagine it was carefully crafted to gradually take over a person’s freedom and scare them into obedience. They probably looked at many different cults and were careful about making sure they don’t spring the doctrine on someone all at once. From what I hear about the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientologists it seems like there are similarities, like requiring so much work on the part of the church member, not allowing anyone to question doctrine or leaders, shunning unbelievers or those who disobey leaders, punishing disobedience through shunning until repentance, making people constantly question their salvation and/or spirituality. It seems like the Lordship Salvation/Nouthetic Counseling views of MacArthur are like a “best of” of what various cults teach with some Christianity thrown in or misinterpreted to fit the doctrine.
 
I believe he has a complex and is hungry for the power his followers give him. He always came across to me as very arrogant and feels he is the ultimate authority on everything. What makes him dangerous is all the people that will follow him no matter what.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: October 08, 2011 06:21AM
 
I was a member of his [Macarthur’s] church, attended his college, have been to his mansion, lived in an apartment building/dorm complex owned by him, and was taken for thousands of dollars by him. I can tell you unequivically that his teachings are not biblical in any sense of the term.
 
The rubbish he puts out is to lure people in so they’ll spend thousands of dollars going to his sham college/seminary and church. I’ve also said before what he really believes is not even in his books or sermons that are sold to the public at large. His definition of grace is not the same as used by the rest of Christianity. Many people have been hurt by this cult, two people have committed suicide, and there’s probably many more that we don’t even know about yet.
 
I wish more people would come forward that have been hurt by this cult, been asked to deny medical treatment, separated from their family, ruined financially, or any other of the common abuses inflicted by this so-called church. If enough people come forward, the abuses will stop.
 
I have written up my story and sent it to various Christian ministries that are considering publishing it, but I chickened out at the last minute and told them to put a hold on it because I’m afraid they will retaliate by legal and other means. When I first left they harassed me real bad and falsely accused me of crimes. I want to make sure I have more people that can corroborate my story and I want to show it to an attorney that can read it and see if anything should be left out…
 
…Basically, MacArthur’s teachings are like a twisted combination of Jehovah’s Witness (the salvation doctrines), Scientology (the counseling/mental health doctrines), and end-times conspiracy groups. He’s taken a “best-of” of the major heresies and made one cult out of it. Since it is flavored with popular mainstream Christian doctrines (trinity, dispensationalism, premillenialism, creationism) he’s able to slip it in easily to the unsuspecting public…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: November 21, 2011 04:30AM
 
You are expected to attend John MacArthur’s church when you are there. If you cannot get transportation there then you are expected to attend a number of local churches that are ran by college/seminary staff and hold to the same beliefs as MacArthur.
 
You are expected to report to a counselor all intimate details of your life to check for unconfessed sin, and you are subject to discipline under what they call the “Restoration Process” which I have mentioned elsehwere in this thread. (Many other cults do things similar to this, Scientology has a similar practice they call “Sec Checking,” which you can find on the net.)
 
You are not allowed to get treatment from psychiatry, all treatment is handled by your counselor, and you must sign a contract that holds GCC/TMC and MacArthur harmless from being sued. Only a cult would do this, no legitimate church I know of would require this.
 
Eventually when you tell your counselor about people in your life who disagree with MacArthur’s viewpoints, you will be told to disassociate with these people as they are hindering your spiritual maturity. Other cults do this as well, Scientology calls it “disconnection” and I forget what Jehovah’s Witness calls it. My opinion is they do this because they know when others find out your new beliefs they will see it for what it truly is. I was even asked to break ties with my father and to neglect taking care of my aunt and grandmother because they wanted me to go on a mission for GCC.
 
The church retaliates against those that leave or are thinking about leaving. When I started questioning the beliefs one “counselor” kicked me in the shins real hard and told me I was on my way to hell. When I reported this the church wouldn’t discipline him because he was telling me “what I needed to hear.” I had a private detective follow me and the church threatened legal action against me about a crime I didn’t committ, and said they wouldn’t persue it if I would leave quietly, not talk about my experiences there, and not try to take anyone with me when I left. If tactics like this don’t scream “cult” I don’t know what does…I have two witnesses that have left that were there when I was and I am going to get them to back up my story.
 
In short, what makes it a cult is the tactics they use, not necessarily their beliefs. Deceptive advertising, slow indoctrination, controlling your life, making you report to a counselor the intimate details of your life, having to report on your friends, having to leave friends and family that disagree with them, having to refuse medical treatments that could be lifesaving, being shunned as a punishment for sins, making it hard to leave, retaliating against people who do leave or disagree, these things are the hallmarks of a cult.
 
Lordship Salvation as a philosophy is a very depressing worldview in and of itself, but when you add all these cultic tactics to it that makes it even worse. You have to constantly improve, constantly show evidence, or else you are not saved. To them there is no recognition of what Jesus did for us as there is with other churches. For them Jesus died so we can enter the Lordship Salvation life of constantly doubting whether we are saved or not. This is not mainstreat Christianity, which MacArthur believes is in a state of apostacy, teaching a watered down Gospel. It is not non-denominational Christianity as they claim.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: November 24, 2011 01:27AM
 
You do not know how many hours I sat down with them [Macarthur’s school  authorities] and was ganged up on by them almost to the point of tears. There is absolutely no reasoning with them. In fact, they are so confrontational I had to drive off and go home before finals week and had to take straight Fs on all my courses the last semester. I even sat down with John MacArthur himself for a whole hour about many of the issues I’ve mentioned on here, as well as different members of his staff. Keep in mind this is the same person that built a museum to himself, as I mentioned in an earlier post. He’s not likely to bend on any of his practices.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: August 13, 2012 11:04PM
 
The “breaking sessions” you mention sound like some of the counseling sessions I experienced where I was badgered for an hour to try to get me to confess to things. Eventually it strips you of all your self-worth, making you believe any problems in your life are your fault. The spying and reporting on other people was also commonplace when I was in.
 
It’s interesting they had a group on campus called the “Wow Staff” that would show up a week early to do the “week of welcome” for new recruits. (The beginning of the brainwashing where you are subjected to sermon after sermon introducing you to Lordship doctrine, love bombed by the staff and Wow staff, taken to ball games and picnics, introduced to Nouthetic Counseling when a wow staffer offers to become your mentor (who later abandons you for one of the more vetran counselors with a degree), attend a church fair where you choose either GCC or a church that has adopted the Lordship system, and play various games.) This all seems well and good but naming them “Wow Staff” is a deception. The Wow in wow staff does not mean “Week of Welcome” as you first are led to believe. It means something else (I never found out the real meaning).
 
Here’s the deception:
 
Each apartment of 4 in an apartment dorm has one wow staffer per room placed there. Each dormroom of 2 has one per room where possible or at least per every other room when they are low on staff. The requirement to become a Wow Staffer is basically to be the elite of the true believers in Lordship teachings plus have good grades and meet other requirements. Wow staff had weekly meetings all year (so much for week of welcome) where they talk to student life about what they learn about each student, who will be problems, etc. An example of these tactics was when they learned I listened to rock groups, they had a wow staffer befriend me to find out how I believed, what bands I listened to, my relationship with my family, basically all personal details. I know they shared the info because other wow staffers I talked to knew the info when I only talked about it in private to this person. It is the Wow Staff that carry out the will of the church to the rank-and-file student body at the college, whether legal or illegal…
 
Now, to people not in the cult this is an obvious form of lying, intrusiveness, spying, etc., but for people that are in they see no problem with it. It sounds like the spying you experienced at these churches was a carryover of how the main organization is ran. The mind control aspect is the most sinister because it puts the average member in a “slave/master” relationship with the church leadership. [Macarthur has written a book called “Slave” and he does teach the lie that all Christians are slaves.]
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: August 22, 2012 02:13AM
 
The MacArthur Study Bible was written by a whole staff of people using his notes, I know this because they bragged about being in a room for many days with people bringing them food to eat while working without stopping. There was actually a whole team involved in that who poured through pages of notes about each book of the Bible while sitting around a table. This was actually compiled and released while I was still in.
 
One interesting note about his sermons. I talked to one former member that told me a story about how he listened to a MacArthur sermon tape on the way to GCC one night while he was on his way to the evening service. The tape was a sermon based on the Book of Romans. He told me that MacArthur delivered the exact same sermon that night word-for-word like it was on the tape. So, I believe the sermons are also written in advance and possibly even proofread by a staff before being delivered, and can be recycled at a moments notice.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: August 22, 2012 08:05AM
 
I believe there are many accomplices behind this cult, such as Phil Johnson as well as the college and seminary faculty. To me it is far too crafty a scheme to be thought up by only one man.
 
Also, I believe the books are “self-promotion” and “advertising” in that they are written for the purpose into hooking you further into the movement, to purchasing the other materials, taking the classes, etc…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: August 23, 2012 04:34AM
 
Even when talking to MacArthur in private it seems like he would always try to correct you about something, and he always comes across as the final authority on everything. He’s probably the least humble person I’ve ever met. He does have a very charismatic personality, and when you first meet him he comes across as being very charming and caring to people. He seems very friendly on the outset, but if you try to engage him in a serious conversation he quickly becomes aggrivated and will try to correct you in everything you talk to him about. He can be very stern at times, and definitely has a “cult leader” personality…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: August 25, 2012 08:11AM
 
Let me just say, that, in my opinion, there are no beliefs in Lordship Salvation that can possibly be justified using the Bible. In fact, the Bible contadicts almost all of their major doctrines. Why do you think he has had to publish over 90+ books, including a Bible that has their beliefs at the bottom of each page?…
 
…I will give one obvious contradiction with the Bible concerning the “Restoration Process” doctrine. Currently their rule is basically you are to be shunned if you commit the same sin 3 times, and they use verses out of Matthew 18 to prove this belief. However, a closer reading of these verses will show that it is referring to someone who “trespasses against thee” as in verse 15. The person trespasses against you, you are supposed to confront him, then bring 1 or 2 witnesses, since out of the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses every word is established. If he still doesn’t hear them you are to go to the church. MacArthur always seems to stop here.
 
If you go on, in verses 19 and 20 it says the reason for this is wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He is in the midst of them. This means that if it is God’s will, the person will make up with you if he has done something wrong to you, since it is Christ that is the restorer, not a counselor or church member, and it is clearly referring to fellowship between people, not God and people. We see this in the next part where Peter asks shall we forgive 7 times? Jesus says no, 70 times 7. This nullifies the Lordship view of getting 3 chances for forgiveness, since Jesus says it is unlimited. The chapter goes on to illustrate the point further with the Parable of the Servant, who did not have compassion to forgive the way he was forgiven.
 
Matthew 18 says nothing whatsoever about looking for sin in other’s lives, church discipline, dealing with sins believers confess to others, it has nothing to do with any of that. In fact, the overarching theme of Matthew 18 is mercy and compassion to others. It teaches compassion to children, unlimited forgiveness, compassion to your fellowman. It does not teach what MacArthur says it does when he takes one section of the chapter out of context.
 
Further, Nouthetic Counseling is built on the same faulty premise that all mental illness or problems in your life are caused by unconfessed sin, and you must confess these sins to your counselor and not stumble over them more than 3 times, or you are shunned by the church. Even though the passages are about one believer trespassing against another believer, and deciding the matter with Christ’s help “in the midst of them,” and the person is to be forgiven 70 x 7 or unlimited, the counseling doctrines are built on the premise of the verses about the first three encounters with the person taken out of context, and rather than “trespasses against thee” it is about sins you commit against God, even in your thoughts or other types of sins that are not “trespasses against believers.”
 
This is also why all Christian churches are not rushing to implement the Restoration Process or get Nouthetic Counseling departments established at their churches. The Lordship view is a minority, and I would be surprised if any church outside of the Lordship movement interpreted these verses MacArthur’s way.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: August 26, 2012 04:51AM
 
I had many friends in this group and I cried for weeks when most of my friends severed ties with (shunned) me when I left. I had friends that were seminary students, executives, professors, missionaries, ministers, as well as students. I do not hold anything against any of these people. They are victims and deserve to be treated with human dignity. The people that are at fault are the theological professors and MacArthur for coming up with the salvation doctrines, and the former psychologists staffing the Nouthetic Counseling department (Wayne Mack, etc.) for coming up with the counseling doctrines…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: November 15, 2012 05:04AM
 
Also, if you disagree with them, under the “Restoration Process” doctrine you will be given 3 chances to repent, then people will be told to shun you, and if you are on good terms with the cult you may be asked to shun other people that are going through this process. You will be told to treat these people as “pagans or tax collectors.” Each time you are disciplined you are said to have “stumbled.”
 
I was in for 2 years (lived on campus) and knew John MacArthur and many of his top executives personally…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: February 20, 2013 08:27AM
 
If there were a way you could show the similarities between GCC and Scientology, the flaws in the Restoration Process & Counseling doctrines, how the counseling has failed to cure mental illnesses, why other theologians have rejected Lordship Salvation, MacArthur’s denial of the atonement of Christ, MacArthur’s acceptance of some Calvinistic doctrines and the fact that Calvin was a murderer, etc.
 
Remember many who get caught up in this cult have not been exposed to any Christianity in the past. Also, it is a very slow mind-control process that they use. The whole thing is not revealed up-front, or people wouldn’t join… Make no mistake about it, it is definitely a cult. It is designed to eventually get you to give up all your money and time and become a total slave. Members join under high pressure tactics, get others to join, use confrontation to pressure people that have to be “restored,” sign up for expensive classes to get degrees to spread the doctrines to get other to join. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: February 24, 2013 06:08AM
 
Charismatic Chaos, as well as the Creation symposium, and all other comparitive religion debates are all ways to slip “Lordship Salvation” in to those who have not yet accepted it. For instance, many people have relatives that join a charismatic church and are concerned whether or not this is true Christianity, so they will go to a Christian bookstore and pick up a copy. After reading the book it convinces them how intelligent MacArthur is and is a good intro to convince them to purchase “Faith Works,” “The Gospel According to Jesus,” and “Biblical Counseling.” These books will introduce them to the Lordship movement and get them into a church that teaches this, possibly even getting them into the college or counseling program. Also, comparitive religion helps convince them that all other Christianity is slipping deeper and deeper away from the truths of Lordship Salvation.
 
Scientology is actually a good comparison to this group as they are both counseling cults, the difference being GCC hides behind a veneer of Christianity.
 
After my psychiatrist told me that MacArthur took much of his doctrine from L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology I decided to do some research with both anti and pro Scientology websites, here’s what I found compared to what I went through during my time in Lordship Salvation:
 
When I entered counseling at GCC I had to sign a contract saying the church would not be sued if I were injured or committed suicide while in their care. Scientology critics call this document the “Lisa clause.” At times my counselor would expect me to confess sins to him, looking for things from my life for me to confess. When I had nothing my counselor and the witness (usually a Wow Staff member, the elite Lordship believers at the college) would occasionally become aggressive, yelling at me until I came up with something. Scientology critics say Scientology calls this practice a “sec check.” [Confession is an important component in mind control.  To whom you confess is to whom you subordinate yourself.  The Catholic Church utilizes confession for this same purpose.]
 
If you did not top your last progress or committed the same sin two counseling sessions in a row it was known as “stumbling.” Stumbling three times meant you were to be shunned or “treated as a pagan or a tax collector.” The shunning did not end until you showed your counselor enough improvement. The same treatment was given to any who disagreed with Lordship Salvation, meaning if any friends or family disagreed you were to break off ties until they accepted the doctrine. Scientology critics say this is called “disconnection” in Scientology speak.
 
Seeing a psychiatrist is prohibited, since MacArthur believes they are evolutionists and are trying to infiltrate the church. In fact, one article on the GCC site says accepting the word of a psychiatrist is the equivalent to adding to Scripture. The belief is that all mental illness and life problems are caused by unconfessed sin in your life. By going through the counseling you are supposed to be able to be cured of these problems…
 
All of these practices bear a striking resemblance to Scientology, and since this cult was founded much later it appears many of the practices were copied and adapted for a “Christian” perspective. (and no, despite what the museum propaganda said, they weren’t founded in 1927) Also, in my opinion, Scientology is more honest because they flat out tell you on their website how your life will be if you join. If I would have known how GCC/Masters was I would never have joined. I think prospective students should be given a packet, maybe even a copy of “Faith Works,” and told all of the practices at GCC that are peculiar compared to the rest of Christianity.
 
So, considering all of this, I don’t understand how Scientology is not a good comparison. I think in terms of the commitment involved Jehovah’s Witness may be a good comparison as well, since the believer is expected to do so much work for the group as well. (See “Character of Genuine Saving Faith” in the back of the MacArthur Study Bible.)
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: February 26, 2013 07:32AM
 
This is the lunacy of this scam. The way it is structured they never run out of things to ding you on. “Growth” is something that never stops, and must always keep moving forward. You can never do enough to satisfy this list.
 
Separation from the world? Are you devoting more time to watching tv or going to amusement parks/movies than you do witnessing? No matter what someone else will always be doing more than you are, thus you are “stumbling.” The cult member is lead into a depression where they are always questioning if they are doing enough. Whenever I would take a cult member to a theme park with me they would be witnessing to people in the ride lines so they wouldn’t fall behind on their works.
 
However, when the cult itself violates these items, it is always the “end justfies the means.”
 
John MacArthur doesn’t even realize he has set up an impossible standard that even he cannot possibly live up to it.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: March 03, 2013 07:09AM
 
I would say that at least half of MacArthur’s introductory material is devoted to putting down other denominations/cults/ministries, as well as using fancy theological terms and Greek and Hebrew. It never occurs to people that he perverts Greek and Hebrew (saying “pistol” the word for believe is the same word used for obey, etc.) and that he no longer agrees with the people that gave him his college degrees.
 
Eventually after reading the materials against other organizations (Charismatic Chaos, etc.) you start to agree that Christianity is heading down the wrong path and needs a restoration. Then, you start to get into the salvation doctrines with books like Faith Works. This convinces you that all of Christianity is teaching a watered-down salvation and you may be “self-deceived.” Once subscribing to this, you start to learn the conspiracy theories and get introduced to the counseling doctrines (“Biblical Counseling” sets up the theory that psychiatry is a tool of evolutionists to infiltrate Christianity).
 
You start to believe that MacArthur has all the answers and there’s no way he could be wrong because he has proof using Greek and Hebrew and has studied theology extensively. It is very convincing, and the longer you are in is the more controlling it becomes.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: March 12, 2013 11:07AM
 
I can answer this. During the 2 years I was in the cult, I remember those who did not vote Republican being subjected to the Restoration Process. So, in that respect, yes, they did control who you voted for. Further, chapel speakers would encourage candidates. Now, my experience may be different because I lived on cult property, so I can’t speak for everybody.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: March 12, 2013 12:51PM
 
The problem is people are trying to classify this as a “Christian church.” It is not. It is an authoritarian counseling cult. Counseling cults were all the rage back in the 1960s when Pop Psychology was moving to the forefront. Groups like Scientology, Landmark Forum, Advanced Ability Center, etc. People were looking for alternatives to psychology. These organizations offered alternative forms of counseling along with an organization for people with a common interest…
 
GCC/Masters has an elaborate counseling program designed by the techniques of John MacArthur, Wayne Mack, David Harrell, and other accomplices that is very similar to Scientology and has all of the characteristics of this type of group. They use slow indoctrination, disconnection/shunning, confession to a counselor, retaliation against those that want out, authoritarianism, etc. These types of organizations always have an elite group of followers that do the bidding for the upper management, that are completely brainwashed on all of the philosophies. These are the “goons,” and they are the ones that would do anything, even illegal, to help the organization. I would say the Wow Staffers would definitely be considered “goons.”
 
…Many may need help escaping, some have given up everything they own or all their savings to go to college and going back home is not an option, some have family that are trapped in and they will lose all of their family relationships if they leave, some have been convinced they are going to hell…
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: March 21, 2013 04:33AM
 
I think the real “goons” are the ones higher up the pyramid…Note how the third list mentions “protecting and guarding” the “Gospel” (Lordship Salvation). I have had MacArthur supporters get physically violent with me because they were defending their “Gospel.” The higher up the pyramid is the more illegal and unethical it gets, definitely resembles “goon” like behavior.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: March 22, 2013 04:35AM
 
Even a casual reading of the Study Bible will reveal there is far more commentary than Scripture in the text. In addition, the cult sells an encyclopedia-like reference library written by MacArthur, one for each book of the Bible that fits on your shelf, each one hard-covered. I was forced to buy the one on Romans when I took the course on Romans at Masters.
 
MacArthur uses a technique called “Expository Preaching” where they take a portion of the Bible (usually out of context) and give a verse by verse commentary of the passage during the sermon, thus doing it verse-by-verse in the order that it appears in the Bible. They brag that this is the only “Biblical” way to preach and it gives the followers the illusion that the cult’s teachings are Biblical because they use this technique, thus frowning on “topical” preaching. For instance, let’s say we are having a sermon on sanctification, which is treated in Romans 8. We would start the sermon by taking verse one of Romans 8 and going verse-by-verse giving commentary, preaching on it until we are at the end of the passage. That may be an over simplification, but usually that is how MacArthur’s sermons are written, and how they train their preachers at the seminary.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: March 28, 2013 02:58AM
 
…dazzle people with all the big words and fance terminology. After all, how can they be wrong if they have all this knowledge? This is part of the hook that keeps people in.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: May 06, 2013 03:21AM
 
For those unfamilliar with the technique used in confessions in Lordship/Nouthetic Counseling, check earlier in this thread. Often a counselor badgers a confession out of a person while a witness is in the room badgering you too (who is supposed to be there as an independent third party), and the info is usually shared with MacArthur’s student life division (if pertaining to the college) and/or the church officials (if pertaining to the church.)
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: May 08, 2013 02:56AM
 
It is definitely a cult. They demand unquestioning obedience. You are slowly indoctrinated, at first you are not told what any of the unique beliefs are that set them apart from Christiainity. Mind control is used, which is what the counseling sessions are for. Large amounts of money are taken from followers, particularly in the college and courses, and books. They believe you must believe Lordship Salvation to be saved, either by accident or intentionally through GCC and affiliates. They retaliate against you for doubting them or leaving. You are not permitted to associate with those that leave. You are heavily disciplined or shunned for disobeying them. I think any Sociologist would agree with me that these are the characteristics of a cult.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: May 08, 2013 03:31AM
 
When I was in the cult I did some door-to-door witnessing with them…
 
It is my opinion that they drive away more people from Christ than they lead to Him. I often heard them compare becoming a Christian to joining the military, if you’re not ready to do everything it takes to become a Christian then you are not ready to have “Genuine Saving Faith.” Simply hearing the Gospel and accepting Christ into your life/heart is never enough. Also, confrontation is highly emphasized in Lordship Salvation. Even if a person accepts Christ, they will be constantly confronted afterwards to repent of any sins that may be in their life.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: May 14, 2013 08:40AM
 
In enforcing the list, you have to keep “growing,” constantly getting better and better, or you aren’t saved. Some mentors/counselors enforce the list in different ways.
 
I have seen some that won’t listen to rock music (I was told I was going to hell for this one many times), see R-rated movies, not have more entertainment time than time spent serving the church, etc. Eventually it drives everyone to become a perfectionist, in a depressing lifestyle where you can never do enough and are constantly being admonished for every little thing.
 
Meanwhile, the cult is led by a millionaire that has built a museum to himself, wrote his own Bible, rewrote the Gospels, came up with his own mental science, and cannot live up to his own list of standards and science.
 
Do not underestimate this cult, it is very dangerous. There’s not a whole lot I can say on here but I would be glad to talk to you via PM. You really need to get your daughter out of this cult. I know it really did a lot of damage to my life and left many emotional scars. I will keep you in my prayers.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: June 02, 2013 07:38AM
 
Since I am still on their mailing list, I received a copy of the cult’s alumni magazine, The Master’s Current, this week. I was shocked at all the expansion they are doing and how much they are growing, and I think it shows the urgency of the need to let people know what they really stand for so they can be ‘informed consumers.’
 
A few things in the magazine bothered me. One was an alumni who said the best part of his experience at the college was the Restoration Process. It mentioned how he enjoyed watching God restoring people that he confronted and that how other “brothers” were able to confront him when he was struggling with sin so he could be restored to fellowship. The way it is worded you would have thought this guy would have been into drugs, alcohol, witchcraft, etc. This guy was actually a student body president and wow staffer and probably did very little during his time there that warranted so much confrontation. It was common for people to nit-pick you on every little thing (more entertainment than serving the church, etc.).
 
The Restoration Process is the most annoying thing about this cult IMHO. The way they can spin it into something positive amazes me. The fact that it isn’t even mentioned in the intro material on the GCC website (see earlier in this thread) shows what I mean.
 
Throughout the magazine there was mention of students and alumni going to other churches to spread the word about GCC/Masters. Some were non-Lordship churches, some weren’t.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: June 03, 2013 05:52AM
 
In MacA’s definition of Restoration we are automatically given an assumption that Christians are constantly in a “broken relationship” with God that needs constant mending. The follower is told God will not hear their prayers, among other things unless this relationship is constantly mended. Where is the sufficiency of the Atonement of Christ? What did the blood of Christ actually accomplish?
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: August 02, 2013 03:51AM
 
I got a a package in the mail from the cult, as I am still on their mailing list. This time, it has an attractive folder with the museum on the front (the college’s Rutherford Hall converted into the “Legacy Room and Welcome Center” as discussed earlier in the thread)…
 
What bothered me the most about this letter is the ending, where it says that the financial contributions of the donors enable students to continue their schooling who otherwise couldn’t afford it. When I was there it was $20,000 per year plus expenses to attend this college. You had to sign a contract for a financial aid package where you would borrow money from numerous lenders, mostly banks that you had to agree to pay back over time on a deferrment basis, meaning they don’t start collections until graduation. They had in-house financial aid but it was on a very limited basis and to my knowledge had to all be paid back, with interest. It was normal for some hardcore believers in MacArthur to have to leave the college in tears prior to spring semester because they couldn’t get financial aid to be able to stay.
 
The letter asks you to donate at the bottom, by setting up a monthly charge on your credit card, and also has a blank to set up a place in your will to leave money to the ministry when you die. In exchange you get a copy of the book “The Glory of Heaven,” which MacA wrote to refute near-death experiences by coming up with biblical contradictions, as well as descriptions of heaven from the Bible.
 
My question is, where do these donations go? These so-called tuition grants, even if they are being given, are simply taking money from one pocket and depositing it in the other. I know I never saw them. I wound up having to get my folks to get me out of hock from these people. They threatened me with collections within weeks of me leaving the cult. If the members are paying, then why charge tuition?
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: January 18, 2014 06:51AM
 
If there are a lot of people involved it will be much harder for the cult to retaliate. Some things people need to be informed about:
The suicides
The museum he built to himself
The false claim it is “non-denominational” Christianity
The attack on psychiatry and the claim psychiatry is adding to scripture
Sending young students to dangerous areas on missions
The list of works that must be done for salvation to be realized
Nouthetic counseling and Lordship (works) salvation
Physical violence on the campus
Retaliation against former members
 
…This cult is designed to reveal a little to you at a time: first, MacArthur’s books and tapes, then Lordship Salvation and what it fully implies, then the belief against psychiatry, then Nouthetic Counseling, then having to put in long hours serving the church to prove your salvation, then going to dangerous areas, to eventually having your full life controlled by the group. If you are not doing enough you are constantly reminded you may be going to hell.
 
Think of all the young people who are hit with the flashy brochures and get sucked in right out of high school. Most people in the 17-18 yo range have not yet decided what to do with their lives, and are taken in by this thinking they are getting a non-denominational Christian education. Some actually cave-in to the pressure to convert, some who embrace it fully actually change their major to Bible and get ordained, the ones who resist even after all the “counseling” are shunned until they eventually give up and leave, with large amounts of time and money missing from their lives.
 
…You may stop thousands of kids from being taken advantage of, and may even save some lives.
 
Posted by: bjw
Date: January 21, 2014 02:04AM
 
This is a standard practice of the cult. They have two missions breaks per year where they send students on missions trips. Some go to third world countries and some have gone to very dangerous areas of South Central LA where there has been documented gang activity.
 
There has been deaths of people who have gone on missions trips. One such was documented in their own newsletter “The Masters Current.” A girl named Natalie Dyk listened to a sermon by Ray Comfort during the college chapel service just prior to the missions week saying that you wouldn’t be saved if you did not go out of your comfort zone. (It may not be word-for-word, but I was there when he said this, so I know he did, and Natalie’s journal had notes on this sermon in it when her belongings were examined, according to the article.) She went to a third world country and they did not know the roads well enough, their vehicle tipped over killing everyone inside, including Natalie. Yet, you don’t see MacArthur or [Ray] Comfort going to these places.
 
I was assigned to go to South Central LA during one missions break, I refused on account of my aunt and grandmother being ill and I would have to go home to take care of things and see about them. I was told by numerous people in the organization that I was going to Hell for not spreading the Gospel. They take the missions breaks very seriously.
 

2. Testimony of a parent whose children attend Grace Community Church

Posted by: pastrpath2
Date: October 21, 2009 06:46AM
 
In my opinion there are many cult like aspects of Grace Community. My step daughter and son in law go there. They seem to be incouraged to judge everyone else’s faith and they convey to them they are not saved because they do not live Stepford wives kind of lives. Here are some other observations.
 
1. Corrupt Leadership
a. Pope like devotion of His followers
b. Can not be criticized
c. Writings treated as authoritative as Scripture
 
2.Scripture Twisting and Redefinition of Biblical Terms
a. Faith is the power of transformation and not the Holy Spirit is the
power of transformation
b. Repentance is turning from sin to be worthy of salvation –
instead of recognition that you are helpless to save yourself and need a savior.
c. Salvation requires Lordship Submission – or works righteousness
d. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not a literal infilling but an
assumption of a person’s faith.
3. Doctrinal Deviation:
a. Lordship Salvation – Salvation by Works
b. Faith as a Substitute for the power of the Holy Spirit
c. Denies the reality of Holy Spirit experiences
4.Elitism:
a. Promotes the attitude of “We are the only true Christians and our church is
the only true church. And we have the only true Man of God.”
5. Control System – Public Shaming – Small Group Shepherding
6. A False priesthood mediating to the congregation – Pastor tell people the will of God instead of encouraging a personal relationship with Christ.
 

Posted by: pastrpath2

Date: October 21, 2009 09:39PM
 
I personally suffered as a pastor in a church where the elders had read MacArthur’s false teaching on Lordship Salvation called “The Gospel according to Jesus” This teaching promotes modern day Phariseism where the people no longer recognize their fallen nature and sins and rationalize their destructive actions as holy. These MacArthurphiles would rationalize lying, backbitting, destructive gosip, and harsh critisism of others and call it a holy attempt to protect God’s kingdom.
 
My experience with people from GCC is that they are encouraged either directly or more often the case subliminally to be haughty and judgemental of people outside the fellowship by judging their actions and declaring them unsaved. To them your only hope is to be rebaptized in MacArthur’s church while declairing you have conquered all sinful thoughts as well as deeds since you made Jesus Lord. Of course at the same time they lose all critical thinking about the people who lead them, especially MacArthur and treat him and the pastors as if they have no sin. If MacArthur is still a sinner, (yes Spiritual Pride at least) and the congregation discovered that truth the entire culture would collapes. The last thing you will see at GCC is people sharing their faults with one another – this would prove them an unbeliever at GCC.
 
At GCC there is a culture of worshiping John MacArthurs teaching without using any critical thinking. Just this last Sunday night I was there for a baptism. MacArthur in front of 4000 people redefined the word Faith to mean Good Works instead of trusting belief. Faith became the substitute for the power of the Holy Spirit to change the human condition. Grace is redefined as surrendered Lordship to Christ instead of unmerited favor. The atonement is limited to the elect and salvation and hell are predestined by a malicious God who has predetermined who will not recieve that grace.
 
Fatalism and spiritual striving to prove yourself worthy of being called the elect is the culture at that church. So to admit that you struggle with sinful thoughts and actions like Paul did in Romans Chapture 7 is an admission of not being saved. The culture is very much like the Stepford Wives. Everyone must put on a personna of perfection and niceness (unless we are trashing some other church or unbeliever). One of the fruits of the cultic system is that eventually every one must act alike, talk alike, dress alike and think alike in order to be percieved as one of the in crowd. Everyone will take on the personality of the leader which is seen as holy. So the culture is one of dishonesty. Lie to myself, God and others about my sinful thoughts and habits so I will not be judged as and outsider or as unsaved. Rationalize all my dysfunctional behavior and pride as part of the personality of a true believer. Everyone is pretending to be completely victorious over sin.
 
Posted by: pastrpath2
Date: October 22, 2009 06:47AM
 
I can’t give an exact quote. But the gist was Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. MacArthur said substance means lordship and obedience. He also said that his faith was the power to transform his life. His faith is the power to walk in obedience and Lordship…
 
In MacArthur land all spiritual experience of the indwellling Spirit of God is of the devil. Instead of judging the experience by the Word of God. All experience is seen as a lack of faith and cultic. Thus assuming faith is the power and legalism is the fruit. Lordship salvation makes perfect sense in a world where God never touches us and faith must assume to recieve the blessings of God instead of experiencing God when we are poor in spirit and desparately need divine intervention.
 
Posted by: pastrpath2
Date: October 23, 2009 06:04AM
 
No – what I am saying is that MacArthur thinks that grace and Holy Spirit only works in and through our intellectual faith – ergo faith is the power to transform. They call the Holy Spirit a person, but any experience of the person of the Holy Spirit is rejected as a lack of faith because faith reckons things to be true… Thus we are not supposed to experience the new birth only reckon the new birth by faith. Also we are not supposed to sin because grace and saving faith is sufficient to keep us from sinning. Their proof of the presence of the Holy Spirit is a legalistic conformity to their church doctrine, ethics and values.
 
I know it is confusing, but what I think this is, is a holiness movement that teaches a kind of total sanctification at conversion. The honest person who still allows the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin as they grow in the knowledge of Christ is rejected by GCC as unregenerate unbelievers.
 
Posted by: pastrpath2
Date: October 25, 2009 04:30AM
 
Yes…the elders of the church had been under the influence of a graduate of the Master’s college and read MacArthur’s teachings for a long time before I got there. As a result – no one in leadership could admit to being a present tense sinner less they disqualified themselves as church leaders and part of the redeemed. The concept of saints that sin was foreign to them. So they would rationalize all they did as good, like throwing tantrums in elders meetings when they did not get their way, making other people the butt of their jokes, their wives and daughters were aloud to wear provocative clothing on the worship team, they routinely used character assassination of people that got in their way and politically polarized the people for and against each others. One elder would have weekly meetings with his cronies to trash talk about everyone in the church that did not live up to his standards for any reason. Another elder would teach Sunday school classes using MacArthur material usually focused on holiness.
 
To me, a big problem was a compete lack of compassion for sinners, either in or out of the church and thus no passion to evangelize because everything was predestined to be what it would be. They tended to be rude and standoffish to visitors because if God wants them saved then they will come back and ingratiate themselves to the church and “follow what the Lord was doing there”. No outreach to the poor, because they must deserve what they are getting. In their minds they were saved because they “faithfully” came to church to do the Lord’s will each week and had a conservative statement of faith. When I preached on sin in the church and that we can all fall into self-righteous pride they finally asked me to leave – because I had removed the joy of their “salvation.” One of the elders is now attending an emergent congregation where there is no core doctrines or talk of sin only love. The other is still teaching at the church to a handful of people. This is Phariseeism – putting heavy burdens on others and not lifting a finger to help, oblivious to their own selfishness and sinfulness. They maintain their superior status by looking down on the spiritual condition of others that they determine are unworthy.
 
Posted by: pastrpath2
Date: November 02, 2009 09:16AM
 
Lordship Salvation is a violation of the entire epistle of Galatians, where Paul says that legalism that adds to Salvation is accursed by God….and another gospel. A false Gospel.. Salvation is a free gift and the new birth is not progressive. Discipleship is costly but is an outworking of salvation and not the means of it.
 

3. Testimony of a man who has witnessed churches destroyed by Macarthur’s disciples

 
Posted by: HansTaaibosch
Date: September 07, 2011 05:00AM
 
Wow. JM slays the infidels verbally wherever he finds them.
 
John “Abdullah” MacArthur needs to be exposed. His Lordship salvation has already been exposed, but his personal conduct has not. Churches in my area have been destroyed because of him, including the one where I grew up. They would never have allowed a Jehovah’s Witness, a Mormon, a Muslim, or a Roman Catholic traditionalist have positions of authority as pastor or deacons, but they permitted JM’s henchmen because they thought JM and his crew of the same mindset regarding the gospel of grace. But they were wrong, and so their church was turned into another output for JM’s variant of works salvation.
 
Lordship salvation is simply works salvation, and JM clearly teaches this.
 
JM lives as an enemy of Christ.
JM is a control freak.
JM uses humiliation and retaliation as methods of control.
JM teaches that Christians are slaves of Christ, and is very hung up on it.
JM is arrogant.
JM is cruel.
JM is self-important.
JM is just like any other cultist.
JM destroys lives.
JM denies the Lord who bought him. [Macarthur has denied the blood of Jesus Christ for 40 years]
JM is an empty field, twice dead, bearing thorns and thistles.
According to his own book “Beware the Pretenders”, we need to beware JM. The shoe fits.
 
Mohammed had an agenda: build a harem, so he can molest kids.
JM also has an agenda: strip Christians of blessed assurance.
“Islam” means “submitter”.
JM has also founded a society of submitters. He treats them like slaves. One of his books teaches that Christians are slaves of Christ, submitters (“Muslims”) to his Lordship.

4. Testimony of a Christian who has been damaged by John Macarthur and his followers
 
Posted by: Marmy
Date: December 31, 2011 07:57PM
 
I’ve been greatly damaged by the teachings of this man and his followers, even years after leaving the church. There’s really nothing to be gained by trying to explain the hurt to his supporters because they know how to manipulate any interaction by Godifying their narrow, unshakable truth. And yes, it’s theirs, not His.
 
Posted by: Marmy
Date: August 25, 2012 12:51AM
 
I have a lot of experience in dealing with MacArthur types, including several of his protégées and followers. What I’ve learned is that what matters to them is seeking or creating debate and controversy whenever and wherever they can so they can win with their theological superiority and manipulation. When they need to play a trump card, it’s “truth”. Their truth, lower case “t”.
 

5. Testimony of a Christian who has experienced the Cultic control techniques of Macarthur’s disciples

 
Posted by: CarlKolchak
Date: March 14, 2012 08:53PM
 
…I find this heretical, works salvation writ large. It probably came in part from teachings said pastor was exposed to in youth, but it appears by the info on this thread it was bolstered by his years at McArthur’s sem, which I have to now regard as cultic, probably heretical.
 
Posted by: CarlKolchak
Date: March 14, 2012 10:58PM
 
Just suffice it to say that I have personal and extensive experience that at least one of those pastors educated in McArthur’s seminary (he was also a former staff member at GCC, who personally knew and worked under McArthur)…Also, the pastor I mentioned above ran his church precisely per the GCC model discussed, with the cultic control techniques, false advertising until you’re in too deep, inability to stand questioning of his positions, etc. McArthur’s influence spreads far beyond Southern California, it is a style practiced by his former acolytes all over the country.
 

6. Testimony of a Christian whose daughter is a member of Macarthur’s church

 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: April 26, 2012 05:57AM
 
My daughter is a member of GCC, and she has turned into a person I don’t recognize anymore. I can’t even have a relationship with her without her condemning me in every way.
 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: February 11, 2013 08:42PM
 
Has anyone had any experience with shunning by MacArthur followers? My daughter has just informed me that I am no longer welcome in her home because of my affiliation with a volunteer organization that is Catholic, in nature citing 1 Cor. 5:11, Rom. 16:17, and 2 Th. 3:14-15 as her basis for this.
 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: February 13, 2013 12:16AM
 
Another similarity is that she pleads with me to repent, but I get the strong impression that I must repent to her, which would be like confessing to a priest, wouldn’t it?
 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: February 14, 2013 02:59AM
 
They are very judgmental, very critical. The joy, spontaneity, creativity, and sense of humor in my daughter is nowhere to be seen anymore since she joined that church.
 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: February 19, 2013 10:25PM
 
A couple years ago, when we were having a not-so-pleasant phone conversation, she stated, “I’m not in a cult.” I had not said anything about her being in a cult at that time, and I really didn’t think she was then, but I could tell that GCC was having an affect on her views…
 
I am indeed praying for her daily. I have found it difficult in the last few weeks to contact her at all, as it always deteriorates into a criticism/judgment/condemnation session. which I don’t want to be a part of. I am praying Isaiah 49:25 over the situation. “I will contend with him that contends with you, and I will save your children.”
 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: February 23, 2013 09:33AM
 
I truly believe that if I were to tell her I have resigned from this volunteer ministry, that it would not make a difference. She wound find some other reason to condemn me, and the outcome would be the same.
 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: February 26, 2013 09:36AM
 
I took a look at the MacArthur Bible tonight out of curiosity. It has way more notes than there is scripture on each page. So, if one were to “study the Bible,” it they would be giving more attention to the notes than the actual scripture in my opinion. She claimed to have made her decision to not welcome me into her home any more based on her study of the Bible, specifically Romans 16:17. She wasn’t studying scripture at all. She was studying J.M.’s notes. The very sentence she used in her email was directly from his notes in his study Bible.
 
Posted by: mhbm
Date: May 14, 2013 04:12PM
 
I would love nothing more than to get her out of this cult. If you have any suggestions, I am all ears.
 

7. Testimony of a Christian regarding the destruction of Christians churches infiltrated by Macarthur’s disciples

Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: August 11, 2012 09:30PM
 
…what the Master MC-A College student said about them infiltrating
churches was EXACTLY what we experienced.
 
1. They say they are non-denom. All doctrine statements are
completely neutral.
2. once you are there, they try to indoctrinate you with Calvinism on steriods
BUT if you say anything even slightly deviating from John Mac
you are now spied on for “charges” of anything from changing light bulbs
“without permission” to “trying to take over the church” ” having pride”
with vulgar or shaming language, they are called ” breaking sessions” in cults.
The purpose is not to correct you, it’s to destroy your worth as
a person. The fear and eggshell walking was ridiculous.
But what was interesting and cult like- is that when you would
talk to a long time staffer, ask a question, about ANYTHING, they would
pause for like 5 seconds, think. then respond. I even asked one woman
“are you self editing
to make sure your response is perfect?”
She said Yes, I guess I do.
 
That is how it is in these churches.
 
You must be perfect, act perfect, but it is fine to lie, slander
scream and yell and spy on people who are suddenly “wolves”
(wolf – anyone not into JM worship)
and God help the person who believes in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Definitely you are demon possessed,* because everyone knows, all gifts
ceased* except of course teaching, administration, giving and helps in children’s ministry!
the only way to show you are saved is to become their slave.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: August 11, 2012 09:49PM
 
Sorry Mark, didn’t answer one of your questions.
YES. They completely intimidated people into silence,
one associate pastor was the church “whipping boy” –
when he witnessed what was done to my husband in a “shaming session”
he said it made him sick and he was going to “do something” about it
but the pastor and staffed shamed him by saying he was being
“divisive” and was ORDERED to not speak to us again!
Imagine that! a 50+ yr old man ordered to be silent and accepting it!
I feel so sad for him, he has no idea what real grace is, trying
to jump through their fire hoops.
 
Two ways to get along in these churches, bullying (seared conscience)
or being bullied (shamed – blamed and scapegoated, trying to prove you are “good enough”)
the congregants know very little about what go on in staff
meetings/ leadership from what I could tell. It’s all hush hush.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: January 20, 2013 02:52AM
 
Wow, what a sad but ringingly true commentary of the man who is the “pope of protestantism.”
 
Several of us have been victims of the “mini Johns” he sends out, he does many many takeovers of churches with his Disciples that come out of masters college.
 
I do not know him, but was treated so badly and in a very very evil but similiar way,
2000 miles apart from Jmac cloned churches,
Thats How i put it together, JMac is the author of this evil.
 
If I see any quotes, literature or john mac bible studies at a church, I hit the floor to run out, he’s in the middle of a takeover with a minion. [I can recount the sad stories of Christians in churches taken over by Macarthur’s minions.]
 
Tell me, I have seen him teach on a few youtubes, he reeks of pride and arrogance and sarcasm,
why do people love him soooo much?
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: January 20, 2013 11:41PM
 
Who exactly is the one doling out the Grace of God?
And to whom? Does John MacArthur have some sort of
franchise set up with the God of the Universe?
 
“Grace to you” reminds me of Lucy’s lemonade stand
from peanuts cartoon strip
“all you can drink lemonade”
is what the sign says, then,
while someone is drinking it,
she grabs it back and says
“that’s all YOU can drink!”
Ok -enough humor, now my rage…
 
I am so angry that this whitewashed sepulcher
is so taking over Christendom.
No Love
No Holy Spirit
No Joy
Fear and Condemnation for those struggling with mental
health – depression- anxiety,
I could weep for hours over the poor
women I’ve counseled who
were in such horrible bondage
because they were depressed…
therefore in sin
( according to the idiotic theology of JM)
and were not allowed to take medication…
because….that too is a sin –
so they became suicidal.
 
WHAT KIND OF DOCTRINE OF HELL IS THAT!!!!!??????
Yes John MacAuthur you make them twice
the child of a living Hell!!!!
 
That man makes life a living hell for the most needy
hurting and vulnerable Christians – I pray someone
presses criminal charges against that miserable misery making Pharisee.
 
Yes John Macarthur there’s some things
that can cause despair
and telling people they don’t “understand
the bible enough” is
the cause of their problems is repugnant.
you are repugnant. How dare you!!!!
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: February 12, 2013 11:08PM
 
Yes, Shunning is the primary means of
control in John Macarthur influenced
churches – Shunning and Shaming.
 
It is also what typical cults do.
 
Guilt is a powerful motivator so John Macaurthur
must shame his followers into following his dictates
or they to will be shunned.
It’s a pretty well documented way to control people.
 
It’s very hard to control Free people, so John MacArthur must
inculcate into his followers that they are not Free in Christ, that
they must have a constant conscienceness of their sin
sin sin.
 
So they spend their lives trying to rid themselves of
sin to get some relief, so getting rid of you…
provides some temporary
relief….until the next sermon.
 
This is a living hell your daughter is involved with.
 
This is completely opposed to the gospel which
pronounced us Forgiven! by faith in Christ!
Free from condemnation!
 
Those that Know they are Free would not fall for
this bondage theology – you only need to read
the book of Galatians to see John MacArthur is
a Judaizer, adding to the gospel of Jesus, therefore
nullifying it.
 
The last thing John Macarhurites let you know is
if you do leave their church you are in sin
and therefore going to hell.
 
Interesting that your daughter is shunning you
over helping out the Catholics …
John MacArthurs theology and practice has much
more in common with Catholicism than
normal Christianity which is:
 
Faith in Christ = Salvation unto good works.
Catholicism is:
Faith in Christ plus Good Works = Salvation.
 
John Macarthur preaches a false gospel. [Note: Calvinism or Reformed Theology is the theology of the reformation of the Roman Catholic Church]
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: February 13, 2013 01:08AM
 
Yes, the spiritual Elitism John Macarthur breeds into his victims, along with the constant, but subtle, condemnation, turns a person into a desperately condemned person who must go out and find others to bring them into the same bondage, “to glory in the flesh” as Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Galatians….
 
So you have really worried, anxious people…. worried about “swallowing a gnat” and going to hell
Or the ones who are “given past feeling” they become arrogant sin sniffers…those are the ones that cause the greatest harm, the mini-johns.
 
Your daughter has probably gone thru the frenetic nouthetic course,
which bases all your problems on some on confessed sin in your life.
 
I would go to the book of galatians, copy and paste the whole thing on an email,
PUTTING HER NAME WHERE IT SAYS,
“They”
And send it to her….And pray!.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: February 23, 2013 09:18AM
 
Just to condense what John Macarthur is saying:
 
“Any Christian who thinks they are having a direct
encounter with the Living God,
through feelings, experience or prayer, is most likely
interacting and being deceived by satan.”
 
To me, this would insure that followers of John
macarthur would make sure they don’t have any
feelings whatsoever, they might be doing
something satanic.
 
And…if the Holy Spirit was to actually move in
someone life, the follower of John Macarthur
would be frightened, not blessed.
 
What does a MacArthurite have left in such a sterile,
non-feeling, “God in a box” religion?
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: March 01, 2013 01:14AM
 
…another paradoxical thing we came up against in these John Macarthurite
Churches.  When we explained to people why we left the church, outlining the abuse done to us and having witnessed others being abused, we often heard some variation of this:
 
“Im so sorry that happened to you, and truly I believe you, but the Teaching here is So Good,
would you forgive me if I stayed?  We are really growing in the Lord!”
 
Now, if that doesn’t make your theological head spin right off your neck and fly out the window, I dont know what does.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: March 03, 2013 04:46PM
 
I think the other hook about JM and his minions,
is if you have an IQ higher than 75,
it’s very hard to find bible teachers that
have something intelligent to say,
which is incredibly sad, because the bible
is a treasure trove of precious gems just waiting
to be mined by even the most casual reader.
 
That is a Big Hook for these people.
I have heard them say “where else would I go”?
( don’t like being abused, I don’t like the brutal politics and people disappearing,
I don’t like being afraid of be shunned, but Who is as Gooooood a teacher?)
 
John Macarthur doesn’t have the corner
market on arrogance either.
He just happens to have not fallen into
adultery either, so he’s supposely one of the “good guys”
 
It’s a large case of Stockholm Syndrome [They love their captor and their captivity].
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: March 11, 2013 10:46AM
 
I wonder if John Macarthur would have us take the
mark of the Beast, to submit to authorities?
I wonder how many of JMs worshippers would do it?
[Note: Macarthur does indeed teach that it’s OK to take the Mark of the Beast and it’s my firm belief that he is now conditioning his followers to take it.  See Paganizing the Christian Church to learn more.]
 
What an amazing flavored Kool-Aid he peddles,
its called…Slave.
 
Sorry John Macarthur- here’s a News Flash
for ya.. I am a Blood bought child of the Living
God, holy and beloved – accepted in the beloved.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: March 23, 2013 06:23AM
 
Lassotheglen,
 
You have an excellent grasp at what is going on in Christendom, They. Are. Taking. Over  They have a plan and are executing it all over the world.
 
The last two churches I attended said they were Non denominational, in their doctrinal statements and even membership Classes, Then, when it comes out you are not a Calvinist ( Reformed) and do not admire and love John Macarthur (after attending for 2 or 3 years!!) as if he was the Messiah, that is the end of fellowship and the beginning of spying, slander, smear tactics legally actionable behaviour.
 
I still wonder if I should sue them, as Mark said they need to be Shut Down!!!
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: March 26, 2013 04:54AM
 
(Hopefully, the “Evangelical Pope” , John MacArthur,
will be dethroned before a spirit of persecution rises up among his followers.)
 
…..uhhhh, ya! they are already here!  If they all want to follow that foul doctrine and
live miserable lives following John Macarthur, Fine.
 
I am here because his “master pastor factory”
are slanderers,
liars,
treacherous,
they will make you Pay if you leave
the church, shunning is nothing compared to
the libel and emotional and spiritual torture.
They go after you, even after you leave with
stories about you that people believe, cuz
“pastors and elders would never lie”
so How do you fight that?
 
It Sucketh rotten eggs.
 
So I am turning that frown upside down and exposing
this unfruitful work of darkness.
 
The worst thing I ever did was attend John Macarthur
takeover satellite churches. Had to move from my home
because of the persecution.
 
Again, I didn’t know they were Calvinist – they said they were
neutral on the subject. No kidding.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: March 28, 2013 02:19AM
 
It seems to me the fruit of Calvinism is still doing its dirty
deeds today amongst his followers – they just can’t kill
you. But they can destroy a lot of things in a persons life.
I know.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: March 28, 2013 04:10AM
 
OR [they] do what John Macarthur does,
Makes Sure You Are A Christian By Examining
Your Life And Making Sure You Submit To All Authority, BlaBlah Blah.
The New Sharia Christians.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: April 01, 2013 10:39AM
 
Thanks for bringing us back to the main
topic :
 
John MacArthur confuses repentance with the fruits of repentance,
and also to confuse faith with that which faith ought to produce.
He confuses saving faith (which takes place in a moment of time–Rom. 13:11; Eph. 1:13)
with discipleship (which is a lifelong process).
 
It has been said, “Lordship salvation is not the childlike faith of John 3:16.
It insists upon repentance but includes a change of behavior IN ORDER TO BE SAVED
Lordship advocates attempt to make behavior and fruit essential ingredients of, rather than evidence of, saving faith”
 
John MacArthur and his disciples preach a false gospel of
terrible consequences in this life and the next.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: May 11, 2013 07:29PM
 
Hi Everyone,
 
Here’s an article on breaking sessions,
 
Quote~
Breaking sessions are one of the methods used by extreme groups as a way of identity destruction .
Bombard them with accusations….
The basic scenario is to isolate the person and to start accusing them of various transgressions. It may start with small things that is easy for them to admit and then steadily escalate with admonishments of breaking important values and even being fundamentally bad and shameful.
This process may well be done by a number of people. The more people and the higher up in the group they are, the more effective this method becomes. Few people can ignore accusations flying at them from all angles and especially from people they have grown to love and respect.
Keep going until they crack….
The point of this session is to push them past a cracking point, similar to when a person has a nervous breakdown and the session may continue well past the point where the person is huddled in a fetal position, rocking back and forth and weeping uncontrollably.
In doing this, the group wears down their sense of identity, in order to effectively destroy their personality and makes them flee from who they are. Thus this method is literally a way of character assassination.
Remake them…
When the person has cracked, the next step is to approach them with kindness, to show that they are now forgiven and accepted again. They may be hugged and patted. This is done by a senior member of the group. This casts the group back into the kind and loving frame and offers a lifeline to the broken person, who of course grasps at this straw. Very gratefully, they now listen to and accept what this person has to say.
In this way, they are now remade in the shape of a conforming member of the group who is totally obedient to senior group members. ~ End Quote
[Note: This “Dialectic Process” is going on at Macarthur’s church.  These “breaking” sessions are called “Discussion Groups”]
 
~ THIS is what John MacArthur -ites do for “church discipline”
 
And if you defy them – you are labeled a wolf or shunned. There needs to be a law against this
incredible evil. It’s not counseling or discipline, it’s just abuse, they only difference is they don’t
grab you off the street and keep you in chains in the basement –
 
They imprison you with the fear of losing your salvation. Despicable.
 
To anyone reading this post still in a John Macarthur
influenced church, Run! Run! Run for your lives!!
If it feels weird…It Is Weird! And gets Weirder!
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: May 14, 2013 09:50AM
 
I think bjws assessment may be more correct, because, if you didn’t go in a perfectionist
you surely become one after the brainwashing.
 
Or lose your salvation.
 
It is a very dangerous cult.
John Macarthur, de facto Accuser of the brethren.
 
How he makes a “ministry” out of
it is beyond my human faculties.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: June 02, 2013 09:01AM
 
BUT THIS is what actually happens in John Macarthur
controlled & influenced churches:
 
They are called “Breaking Sessions”
 
Breaking sessions are one of the methods used by
extreme groups as a way of “identity destruction .”
 
Bombard them with accusations.
 
The basic scenario is to isolate the person and to start
accusing them of various transgressions.
It may start with small things that is easy for them
to admit and then steadily escalate with admonishments of breaking important values
and even of BEING fundamentally bad and shameful.
 
This process may well be done by a number of people.
The more people and the higher up in the group they are,
the more effective this method becomes.
 
Few people can ignore accusations flying at them
from all angles and especially from people they have
grown to love and respect.
 
Keep going until they crack.
 
The point of this session is to push them past
a cracking point, similar to when a person has a
nervous breakdown and the session may continue
well past the point where the person is huddled
in a fetal position, rocking back and forth and weeping uncontrollably.
 
In doing this, the group wears down their sense of identity,
in order to effectively destroy their personality and makes
them flee from who they are. Thus this method is literally
a way of character assassination.
 
Remake them
 
When the person has cracked, the next step is
to approach them with kindness, to show that they are
now forgiven and accepted again. They may be hugged and patted.
This is done by a senior member of the group.
This casts the group back into the kind and loving frame
and offers a lifeline to the broken person, who of course
grasps at this straw. Very gratefully, they now listen to and
accept what this person has to say.
In this way, they are now remade in the shape of a
conforming member of the group who is totally obedient to senior group members.
 
BREAKING THEM DOWN AND REMAKING THEM IN
THE IMAGE OF THEIR LORD JOHN MAC ARTHUR
 
They didn’t learn this from Christ.
 
Posted by: gracetowho?
Date: June 03, 2013 09:28AM
 
I would like to examine this quote from the John MacArthur
Restoration definition…..
 
“This means that all believers are STILL struggling against sin.
The question is NOT will sin be present on our campus,
the question is WHAT WE WILL DO about it. (emphasis mine)
 
By John MacArthur’s own admission,
there can never be what he calls “restoration”
 
Because according to him, you are constantly “struggling” against sin.
 
This clearly defines the duplicite nature
Of John MacArthur’s theology,
because you cannot be experiencing
assurance of salvation
If you are still sinning, but you shall forever be Struggling with sin.
 
Yikes!
John MacArthur is a theological horror story!
 
If the Son sets you Free, you are Free indeed!
Stop putting yourselves under his yoke of bondage!
 
Are you saved by Grace through Faith as a gift
Of God?
Or of Works?
If you think your works can save you
Than you must keep the whole law!
 
If you are under the Law than you are under the Curse.
Galatians 1
 
John MacArthur preaches an “another gospel” which
Puts people under a curse.
 
Paul the Apostal said “let him be accursed who preaches
Another gospel.”
Yes that includes John MacArthur.
 
Jesus said you can hang the whole law on Loving God
with all your being
and loving your neighbor as yourself.
 
Has anyone here ever wondered why Christian Love is missing
at your church??????
 

8. Testimony of a Christian whose father’s church was taken over by Macarthur’s “sect.”
 
Posted by: teacher
Date: November 07, 2012 09:29PM
 
…the followers [of John Macarthur] who lead the churches, at least the one I know, are liars and dictators.
 
Posted by: teacher
Date: November 13, 2012 02:00PM
 
If someone had told me that I would have seen my dad’s church taken over by a sect I would never have believed it. The story is long and yet frightfully simple: MacArthur has set his eyes on Sicily and one of his pastors has taken over first the church (my father served their with a US based mission for basically ever!) and a few months later the actual mission – now appointed executive director. He has banned the fellowship from having to do with our family (my parents were kicked out of the mission house and moved up north to live with me). They have no support of any kind from the fellowship (I mean emotional not financial because my father never recieved a penny from the church in all his years of service), no word from members of the original mission whom have known them for years and years. The MacArthur pastor is against women working or speaking – and I stood up against him and the way he treated my dad (who is over 80!) so I guess (being a woman) he really dislikes me. People who have known us all our lives no longer speak to us (by phone because we live far away) and I know that in the actual church he has banned those he disagrees with and some he “allows” to attend but they must notify their absence if they cannot go. I can not believe what I am seeing and hearing and the pain and distress it is causing. I googled and found info and all fell into place – this is a sect and they want followers. So what can I do? Can we not team up and get a web page with documentation translated in different languages? I am willing. I am graduated in International Communications. I am not a member but am living the ruin of the church and some of the people in my own life. These people have no love, no respect, no grace…nothing. They are blinded and it’s necessary to have something up so that if people want to know the truth behind the lies it is available for them: their choice to believe it or not. False prohets in sheep’s clothing. I feel very alone.
 
Posted by: teacher
Date: November 23, 2012 02:03PM
 
…I am more concerned about the terrible way “sinners” get treated in these communities [surrounding Macarthur’s church sect]: shunned, insulted, offended, put aside, made fearful…It is all so ANTI_CHRIST.
 
Peace to all of you – for me it is not do with War but with a Lack of Love. I have been accused of wanting to get my own back on these people because of the pain they have caused my family. That is wrong. I am broken but not on the ground. The Love of Christ in my Life is Greater!
 
Posted by: teacher
Date: January 23, 2013 04:56PM
 
…I have realized that there is a lot of fear amongst “survivors” and also those who are entangled in the web of deception with little power of decision. I had the feeling for a long time that we were dealing with a spiritual (and I mean that word) attack in my dad’s ex-church – for many months I was confused. Then God gave me the answer: ok it wasn’t what I was expecting but he opened my eyes. I had smacked straight into a sect….
 
Posted by: teacher
Date: February 13, 2013 02:09PM
 
…Shunning is one psychological technique used by Macarthurists and as far as I am concerned it is also one of the most damaging. It can really split people up… How can anyone think there is our God in all this? It remains a mystery to me.
 
Posted by: teacher
Date: March 06, 2013 01:08PM
 
I have asked all of you if you would like to participate in the creation and development of an informative website in as many languages as possible which will allow all those who search to read the truth behind the Mac Arthurist sect/cult. At present I am working on the Italian side but I also have a friend who will be doing the German translation. Another friend will build the website together with me.

9. Testimony of a Christian who knows John Macarthur personally and who was a member of Grace Church for 20 years
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 19, 2013 04:51AM
 
I have some information that might help you to evaluation both Grace Community Church and John MacArthur. I was a member of Grace for twenty years. I know John personally and have attended studies at the Master’s College under their Professional Bible Program.
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 20, 2013 12:46AM
 
Let me say this: Grace was the name of the church before John got there. The church was started by six families in a chicken coup and they believed in the Grace of God, so they named the church because they wanted to reach out to the community. Now Grace is not an issue at this church. There is no grace, there is no love, there is no Holy Spirit.
 
I arrived at Grace in 1973. John had been at the church for three years. I had gone to Grace before John arrived before I went to Bible school in 1966. The church was friendly and had about 300 members. I first came in contact with the MacArthurs through John’s dad Dr. Jack. When I left school, I went to a couple of youth rallies where John was the main speaker. This was before he became Senior Pastor at Grace. His messages were very biblical as far as I could tell, but what struck me was his arrogance in his preaching. I decided I was not going back to Grace when I found out he was going to be pastor. There were two pastors before him. Dr. Don Householder was very compassionate and loved people. The church as very close-knitted. I can remember them having pot lucks so that everyone could get to know each other. It reminded me of Acts 2. Dr Don. prayed for me for six years for me to come to know Christ as my Lord and Savior. He knew me through my mother and neighbors who were quite involved. I resisted and resisted until I went forward at the Billy Graham Crusade. Dr. Don was thrilled. At the time I was in the service so I didn’t have much church experience. After I got out, I attended Grace for three weeks because I had been accepted to Bible School in Colorado. Dr. Don passes away and Grace had a new pastor, Richard Elvie. He was very encouraging to me in my desire to go into full time Christian service.
 
I first found out about Calvinism and Reformed Theology because more of my professors at school came from Dallas Theological Seminary. So when I came to Grace for good in 1973, I was familiar with their TULIP type attitude toward the Bible. I said earlier that I didn’t want to go to Grace because of John’s arrogance. But I had to lay that aside because John helped me through a divorce with his teaching in Ephesians 5 and 1 Corinthians 7 on what God Thinks of Divorce after my first wife left me due to the false teaching of another church where the pastors where attending Talbot Theological Seminary, the same seminary John came from. To tell you the truth, I now call it a cemetery. The reason is, Reformed Theology takes compassion and turns it into stoicism, which in my opinion is deadly if you are to call yourself a child of God. When I first arrived at Grace, I ate up what MacArthur said on his tapes. I loved his teaching in the gospel of John and Ephesians because I learned so much about who I was in Christ. Ever since I went forward at the Crusade, I wanted to know God and I wanted to know the Word of God. John MacArthur helped me with this to some extent. That is what drew me to his teaching. Most of the people on staff were home grown. They all attended Talbot. They would meet at Grace and go down to Talbot in a van. What I noticed in these men is that they became products of John MacArthur. They were indoctrinated with Reformed Theology and when they spoke, it was almost like John spoke through them except he was more skilled in communication and confidence. I hope that makes sense. John found other churches for them to speak and many of them got their so called call from John’s reputation.
 
Before 1985, Grace had an evangelism program where you as a member could get trained to share the gospel. I say this because before 1985 the focus was on the church, the body of Christ. John would have a section in the service called the living church where people in the congregation could share what God is doing in their lives. However, after the Master’s College came into play that all changed. Along with the school, the focus of ministry changed. There was no more evangelistic trainings, no more living church. The focus was on the college. John would talk strictly about the school. Master’s College this and Master’s College that. Then I saw elder splits because some didn’t like what John was doing. If you didn’t like what John was doing, you were out the door. If you didn’t abide to the standards of John’s rules tou were disciplined. There were so many families that were ruined because of John’s stoic attitude about the Bible. The more Grace grew, the more complex the church got. You saw older people leaving, many of which I knew because I worked with their kids in AWANA (20 years at that church). In 1990 my wife and I left Grace and went to a church in Washington state where the pastor was a graduate at the seminary at Master’s. Oh yes I forgot about the seminary. That was another change. In stead of the focus being on Grace as a church, it was on Grace as an institution. John brought men from outside to teach the students and along with those came a lot of different ideas such as neuthetic counseling which was originated by Jay Adams. I read the book, and to tell you the truth it made me sick because it had such a hunanistic view of what I believe God desires for our life if we are to know Him. Anyway, at this church in Washington, I could see in this pastor the same dictatorship that I began to see in John. Only, I was blinded in the case of John because I loved the church and I loved the teaching and I knew John to some extent as a person. The problem was, the more Grace became institutionalize, the less personal John became and the more judgmental he became. I didn’t see this until I saw it in this other pastor in Washington. There were cell groups. Does that sound familiar. Have you heard of the cell groups they have at Grace in the singles fellowship classes called the Guild? Anyway, this pastor would have facilitators in each group. You had to take the pastors messages and in your journal write down sin problems you are dealing with then report those to the group. The facilitators would then report it to this pastor so that if you left, he could use this against you and all you an apostate. If was awful. This was a man that was taught by the seminary under John MacArthur. Because of my Bible knowledge, I knew this was wrong and because I was a God seeker, I began to study the Bible on my own. I wanted to be a good Berean so I studied the book of John. I let the Spirit of God be my teacher. I can tell you that it changed my life. It drew me closer and closer to God by allowing the Spirit in my inner man teach me the depths of Christ. I don’t want to go into that now. What I did want to share is, I saw things at this Washington church and I wrote John MacArthur several times. He wrote me a couple of times, but the attitude was, “What can I do about it?”
 
In 1993 I left this church. I felt so free when I got out of there. A few weeks later my dad got sick, so my wife and I left Washington and came back to California. I wanted to go back to Grace. When we got back, the whole of Grace had changed. The elders were no more people grown from the local assembly. Grace became a zoo on Sunday mornings. John’s teachings were more judgmental that teaching about Christ in you the hope of glory. Someone mentioned about the worship of the offering plate. I was there the Sunday morning when John said that. That is absolutely accurate. The idea of works salvation was not always there at Grace. It became more evident when John started going to other religious organizations and brought men from outside to the Shepherd’s conferences. The whole of the church now is a works system of Christianity. It is strictly sin and sin replacement and obedience. When I left Grace in 1996, John called me and told me he loved me. A few weeks later, he indirectly called me as having seducing spirits. Where is the love in that! That is what John has become. A dictator, with a humanistic view of the Bible. He is quick to judge others and slow to take constructive criticism from others. You just don’t tell MacArthur he is wrong. The seminary is like he wants to make little MacArthurites to follow his path of thinking. I found myself trapped when I was at this church. I thank God that the Spirit gave me the wisdom to get out in 1996 because I understand it is worse now. I can tell you this. In the 20 years I was at Grace, I never heard John speak of a time in his life when he realized he was a sinner who completely falls short of the glory of God and that he repented and fell on his knees as a beggar. In a testimony with Phil Johnson a few years ago, I remember him saying, “There was never a time in my life I didn’t love Christ.” If I read Romans 1 correctly, there is not a person alive who before he resigns himself to God’s truth that does not suppress the truth in unrighteousness and that includes your truly. However John does not admit that about himself. It is like because he is called to preach he is exempt. He calls his calling to the ministry a “special grace.” What is so special about how God deals with him and how God deals with us? That is my question. And in the twenty years, I never saw a humble, meek man in the pulpit. On several occasions he would share something like this. “Well, just when I am ready to get into a good sin, I think of this Bible verse or that Bible verse, and that temptation is gone.” To tell you the truth I didn’t think any sin was good. God is the opposite of sin, so why call sin good? Also, I don’t think anyone is exempt from sin. He thinks he is exempt from this and because he has a special calling he has the right to judge others. However, he cannot even judge himself.
 
I could say more, but I’ll let you make comments and we can discuss this more. I love John and I love that church at least for what it was. I still have friends there. I have kids that I ministered to and have grown up that I worked with in AWANA. I am sadden to have to talk about someone I admired for so long and a church where I first went to when I came to know Christ as my Lord and Savior. However, when I hear about John and Grace, I get stirred up. I have written to him several times and never gotten a response until last week. I won’t share the letter now, but I will say it wasn’t very nice.
 
I think the more we can expose this man, the more people who have been influenced by him around the world can be free to allow the Holy Spirit to lead their lives in righteousness, holiness and true godliness because the only way that can happen is if God operates his life in us through His Spirit and not through the teachings of Reformed Theology, or a works based salvation. I think a lot of people that go to Grace or churches that are influenced by Grace or by John MacArthur need to be more aware of what is happening there otherwise when they face Christ after they die, they are going to beg like the rich man in Luke 16.
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 20, 2013 05:55AM
 
To answer your question [why do people love Macarthur so much?]. I can think of a few reasons and I’ll share those with you.
 
First, as large as Grace is, few really have a good view of the Bible. They rely so much on John’s teaching them that they cannot discern humanism from true spiritually which I believe can only be discerned by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I think this is true whether you are a member of the congregation, or at either school. Most of the students are young. They haven’t been seasoned so it is easy of John to sink his teeth into their minds and presto, they become mini Johns as you said. This is why you really have to study the word and let the Holy Spirit teach you the depths of God. I didn’t do that the first 17 years I was at Grace. I got caught up in the web of thinking John had the ultimate truth. I can remember one time going into a Burger King and this fellow dressed in a police uniform started talking about John MacArthur. This was after my wife and I left. By his conversation, you would have thought that you were at the Vatican and worshiped the pope. MacArthur could do no wrong. That is how convincing he can be to his people. He appears to have the Bible down cold that is very appealing to a person who is young and searching. To me, that is a crime because these people are getting the wrong information from a guy to is worse than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
 
Second, John does so much criticizing of national groups and national disasters that it makes you feel safe to be in a place where God is blessing in the midst of a nation that is falling apart on so many fronts as you know. MacArthur uses the Bible to spill out the judgment of God on anything that will make him an authority of God. He will take scripture out of context and skip portions of scripture to get from one point to another. I don’t read many of his commentaries because like you I run the other way due to the fact that I know he is bias on so many issues that are controversial. He makes you think he is an expert on all human issues and that God is using him to judge sin and the world in that respect. Talk about the power of the god of this world. He is it. However, that makes people feel good about themselves as long as they side with him.
 
Third, to go along with that, the church believes so much on disciple and obedience that if you get out of line one time, you are named in front of thousands of people. I personally do not believe Matthew 18 speaks of church discipline. The context has nothing to do with a church as we think of it today. Yet, Grace uses this to extreme in people who are a threat to John’s principles and rules. Those that bear witness to this name calling have to feel pretty about themselves that someone else is called out and not them. That has to make them feel they are pretty secure between them and God. I know of at least five families personally who have gotten divorces because Grace has called out one member leaving the other member feel he has the right to divorce even though John preaches against divorce. The kids of one family of which I have worked with in AWANA, all began using drugs because they could not cope with what was going on between their parents. But this part is kept quiet to the rest of the congregation.
 
Fourth, the Shepherds Conference has a big impact with the members and attenders at Grace. Having pastors come in from other parts of the country gives you the idea that God is really at work at this church just like He was when Paul went out on his three missionary journeys. Believe me, there is a lot of difference between the gospel of the first century church and the message that John MacArthur teaches. Again, there is security that God is working at this church and that explains why they love him so much and keep coming back.
 
Fifth, they have a very good children’s programs and they have so many other programs so that people can get involved. You feel like you are serving the Lord when you can get involved. It is a place where you can drop off your kids and do what you want to do and know that people will take care of them while your doing something else. I have had parents come to me in appreciation for loving their children. That makes me feel good as a servant of God. That is the part I miss at that church. John has a way of making you feel you belong there when he exalts the ministries of Grace from the pulpit.
 
Sixth, the schools have a big role in keeping people at the church. Many of the students go there and many of the young people from families that are members of Grace go there. With the Master’s College and Master’s Seminary, you get the idea that God is at work and there is no other place to go to get God’s blessing. I don’t know if they have this anymore, but they used to have an opportunity sheet. The purpose is to either submit needs you may have or submit solutions you may have available to meet a need. It would sort of be like they did in Acts 2 except instead of the Holy Spirit doing the work and filling the need of all so that there was no need and they could worship together and learn about who they were is Christ, there was partiality because the seminary students always got priority, while others were left out. However, that part was hidden. To the majority of the people, they never read the part about the priority of students. It said, “Good for seminary students.” That gave you the idea that there was impartiality. However, if youi went to the person offering the service, they would say, “Oh this is just for seminary students.” I know because my wife and I did this and even though this place was still available, we were left out. So the opportunities are in front of you which makes you think there is oneness, but underneath that the majority of the people cannot see, there is favoritism. I believe God calls us to be one with each other. The problem is, there is no Holy Spirit, so there can be no divine leading to help you be a good servant or fulfill a need you may have. However, to others this sounds so good and makes you think that God is actively involved.
 
Seventh, the largeness of the church. It kind of makes you think of the feeding of the five thousand where the more people that came the more Jesus fed them. With so many people who come you get the idea that the Bible is really being taught properly and people are hungry to hear, so they come. The problem, they can’t discern truth and error. So they love John because he gives them a pseudo truth out of his ever so convincing Greek, Hebrew syntax study of scripture. It makes you think he really knows what he is talking about in God’s word. And people who hear him on the radio get the idea, especially when you listen to Phil Johnson that MacArthur is going to give you what you need to glorify God. The two make a great pair when it comes to convincing people that God is really giving you Grace to who? A great title,
 
There are probably other reasons, but those are a few I can think of as I have observe over the years.
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 21, 2013 08:26AM
 
…What happens if you are JM? Let me share a little about what I found out. A few years ago, he had an interview with Phil Johnson. I’m you know you he is. Anyway it was all about John’s conversion. Phil asked JM if he remembered a time when he made a decision to know Christ. JM said, “I actually do not remember. I was raise by godly parents and they lived out the Christian life in front of me.” JM’s dad was a preacher and JM’s grandfather was a preacher. JM said, “Actually I think I have always been a Christian” My response to that is “All have sinned and fall of the glory of God.” We all have to acknowledge that we are sinners and come to a point of repentance meaning humility, brokenness and beg for the truth of redemption in our lives. We have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness and therefore need what Christ has done by his shed blood and his sacrificial death to be made sin for us and then to understand that because He was raised from the dead we are raised with Him. That is Romans 5-8 in a nutshell. That is why we are not condemned because He has paid the price for us. But according to John’s testimony he is exempt from that. He has taken this and run with it to the point that he has become God of all churches and God of all people who come to shepherds conferences and without even any repentance or brokenness. “Oh, I don”t ever remember a time I didn’t love Christ.” This is a sign of an unregenerated dictator using God’s word as an imposter. Remember, Satan appears as an angel of light.
 
I know a lot of people still at Grace. The problem is and I fell into this until the Holy Spirit changed by life, is you get trapped into his confidence in scripture and the color code of his beautiful words. It is like you are lured in and then hooked with no way out. The church that I went to in Washington state helped me prepare for John when I came back. I was driven to study the word because of the imprisonment I was in. I studied John’s gospel and that is when I allowed the Spirit to be my teacher just like Jesus told the disciples in John 14-16. While at Grace you are locked up into his teaching and his web. Now I can know the fullness of truth and let the Spirit set me free to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.
 
Since I know John, I have attempted to write him on several occasion. I really did not expect to get an answer, but I did so I want to share it with you. It sort of fits in with what you said that JM has set some kind of franchise with the God of this universe. Only it is not with our Father, because God doesn’t treat people like JM does. JM is more the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4-4). Anyway I tried to confront him on issues of scripture and on his judgemental attitude and this is what he said:
 
“I just want to express my sadness that you have the attitude that you do towards me and towards the church. Where all of this comes from I’m not certain, but I am certain that I can’t do anything to remedy it nor will I defend myself or the church. We’re not on trial, and you’re not the judge.” He tells me not to waste my time writing anymore. Here are some problems. He never self-examines any wrongness he has done. When people criticize him, he says “We are not on trial.” He doesn’t know how much he is on trial before the Lord. He is so exempt and so arrogant that he cannot see his own faults. That is why he never remembers a time of true repentance and yet he will tell everyone else they need to repent. As I said, I know of five families whose marriages broke up because he acted as a judge and he tells me I can judge him? He should go on the internet and look at all the people who criticize doctrinal issues about John. What he would is say he is suffering as a good servant for the Lord. Another problem I see is he puts all the blame on those who try to give him constructive criticism by saying, “Get before the Lord and ask Him to fill you with His joy.
 
I have to go before God every day of my life. I am so filled with joy. I have expressed to him what God is doing in my life and how joyful I am and yet he tells me to get before the Lord? He is give the wrong person his advice. He should look in a mirror and give it to himself. If he could see all the notes I take in my Bible study time, he would have a different attitude. John is so defensive of himself and the church that in my opinion there is no hope for him to change. That is sad for me because I know him and I have been involved in the church for so long. As I said, the church did not start out this way. It is John who has done everything to corrupt this church. Christ is everything to me. I desire to know Him as Paul did. Grace would say that is impossible because you have to deal with your sin. I say, “non-sense”. Christ did it for me. God wants us to know Him. He wants to fellowship with us. He wants us to partake of his holiness and his life. That is why we have the Bible. That is why we have the Spirit of God to teach us and guide us in all truth. But for John, you said it. There is no Holy Spirit, no love, unless you abide by his rules and regulations and you believe in his doctrines. People I know still go there. I can’t communicate with them because of GCC’s hold on their lives and their beliefs.
 
Let me say, I have really never been hurt emotionally at Grace. I left because God was teaching me truth and helping me discern the error of JM and those on staff. I saw what happens when a a common ordinary man who has compassion gets on staff and becomes a monster instead of a man of God, and get JM will say he is godly just to protect his ego. Unfortunately, people like you have gotten hurt or the person who went to the college. What Grace would say is, That person is in sin or unsaved. The problem is they don’t even know that salvation in Christ really is, because they look at salvation through doctrine rather than through a personal experience of true brokenness. Yet they continue to counsel and people continue to go there because they are trapped. I have written a book, note specially about Grace. It is not published yet, but it will be soon, Lord willing, It is called, “Intimacy In God.” It is Biblically based and directs us to Christ and not the church. To me, the church draws you to itself in many cases, not to Christ. Grace is the epitome of that.
 
I could go all day on this because I have 20 years of experience on things that have happened there.
 
…However, I will not let my experiences at this church take away the joy I have in Christ. What I want to do is tell others to stay away from this place [Grace Community Church] and do not go to these schools and do not listen to Grace to You. We need to let everyone know and find others who have any tithes to this place. The one thing I am reminded of is JM has to go before the Lord. Jesus said that in John 5 when the tombs are raised. I believe that is when we are out of this body and we face God. JM has affected so many judgment that he will face double judgment (James 3).
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 22, 2013 08:23AM
 
Dear GTW and Mark:
 
Your comments are so right on and appreciate both of you and your concern about MacArthurizm:
 
I have to go through both of your comments so we can work together regarding, JM, Calvinism, Neothetic Counseling and the whole of how they have hurt so many people. First let me say this. In each of these they take the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit and twist everything to fit their doctrines and their dictorial attitude. And I agree having been a member of Grace for so many years seen how the scriptures have completely been taken out of context.
 
GTW, you are right about doctrine. But I think it is more than doctrine. It is attitude, it is a lack of trust in the Holy Spirit, it is a lack of compassion on people’s lives, people’s hurts and people’s individuality. There was a time in my life even at Grace that I went through conflicts in my life. I was afraid to go to any counselor there because I was afraid they would throw, SIN, SIN, SIN. So I would just go to the mountains and spend an hour or two talking to the Lord. I really felt at peace, but the next time I attended the church, it started all over again. When my wife and I moved to Washington state, we got the same thing. It got so bad that decided I was just going to let the Word of God teach me. Having been to Bible school, I learned principles how to study the Bible, how to keep context, how to relate one first to another and how to ask questions, not just about lverse relationships but about how to take scriptures personally and like I like to call it, take ownership of the Word in your inner being. I began with the gospel of John because I wanted to know Christ intimately in my life. If I was going to beable to deal with all the stress and frustration of the church, I needed to let the Spirit teach me. I was really reward. First, I understand that I had to put myself as a disciple of Jesus as the disciples. They had a mind that could learn, so I had a mind that could learn as long as I kept scripture in the same context that Jesus was teach them. Let me share with both of you a few verses and these are just a few.
 
In John 3:17 it says For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but the world through Him might be saved. What that means is even as much as we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Christ came to redeem us from the curse of the law, not to make us guilty of the law. Remember Romans 8:1, There is now no comdemnation to those who are in Christ. God I do not believe looks at us through sin, but through the righteousness of Christ. That is why He paid the price for sin. I do not believe that if you are in Christ you deal with sin. My mind was so focused on sin because that is what Calvinism, Reformed Theology and JM says that you have no mind to focus on Christ. I decided I needed to focus on being saved, acknowledging my sinful by mourning and being broken that I have suppressed the truth of the Spirit in my inner man, and then focus on who I am in Christ. I am loved by Him, I am a partaker of His divine nature, I am owned by the Spirit to let Him live out His life in me, I am hidden with Christ in God, I am buried with HIm in baptism that I may be raised with Him in righteousness. That helped me look not at sin but who I was in Him.
 
Shortly after this, I left this church. It wasn’t easy, because they started tell me how much they loved me. They even bought a new car for my life and I. I said “no thank you” They called me ungrateful and not willing to submit to the authority of elders. That was OK with me, because to me, I was going to focus on Christ and not allow them to put that Calvinistic guilt trip on me. I got so made that I told them to shut up and get out. I never had been that bold in my lifel. But it was God’s word helping me see who I was in him so I could discern their attempt to bait me and hook me back to them. That helped me when I went back to Grace. When we finally left JM attempted to lure me with “I love you” Hogwash. He loves himself, he loves what he is in the pulpit so he can dominate. I wrote him a letter to tell him that his ministry was so full of the earrth and not of the Spirit. He wrote back and called me hostile and argumentive. I guess I was both according to his philosophy and his rules. But between me and the Lord, it sure felt good because after 20 years I finally stood up to this man. But I had to have confidence with the scripture and the Spirit. I could not allow these situations to let my mind deal with sin which I did not have to because there is not condemnation. Let me ask you guys a question. If there is sin in a person born of the Spirit, then how can the Spirit be in that person. Sin an righteousness are opposites. So if we are in Christ and His righteousness sin is not and issue with us. Righh? That is why Christ was made sin for us.
 
Calvin believed in Total Depravity. I do not think that is true…But who wants to listen to Reformed Theology that will make a depressed person feel guilty? Christ died for the ungod. I was ungodly once, but I am no more depravited because of Christ in me the hope of glory. I would much rather live in the Spirit, than have to deal with Calvinism or JM or neuthetic counseling.
 
Now, I think we all have a right to be angry. Why? Because the word of truth has been suppressed by men who have a form of godliness but deny the power because like you said GTW, there is no Holy Spirit and if there is no Holy Spirit, they have commited the only sin that is not forgiveable, blasphemy of the Spirit. They are under greater condemnation than they tell us we are under. I think we need to like your friends know how much they are loved by Christ and help them see the grace of God in the midst of their hurt.
 
Mark, I can’t believe that they would do that to your friend with bi-polar and yet that is what Reformed Theology does. It makes you the guilty party because they want to control with earrthly wisdom of the Bible to make you think they are so holy and righteousness. And in the case of JM it is doubled. In the twenty years I was at grace I never heard him talk about a sin he said committed or any brokenness in his life and yet he will condemn others, even national figures that they are unsaved and they need repentance right in the middle of 4000 people. How can national figures help a person in the congregation in their spiritual life? To me that comes from a nationally known Bible figure that is unregenerated.
 
Let me tell you both that I just wrote this man a letter to respect to a couple of lthings he told me. First he didn’t understand where I was coming from, referring to my arguments on what was going on at Grace. I am him my testimony on how God was working in my life. Then he told me a had to stop venting, in others being frustrated. Let me ask you, would you be frustrated if you went to a chuch for 20 years thinking you were getting truth and helping so many kids in AWANA to point them to Christ, then finding out that the guy is a jerk and probably not even of the Spirit. That is heartbreaking for me especially when I know him an I have worked with his children in the past. Let me give couple of things I wrote in this letter: He almost demanded that I get before the Lord and get right with God. I told him I am in the word every day, which I am. I go before the Lord and search my heart out before Him and ask Him to teach me truths that will help me know Him better. In his letter to me he said, “I don’t know where you are coming from.” I told him that I embrace truth, I embrace Christ, I embrace what I am as a living member of the church in my soul, I embrace all that I am in the Spirit of Truth. That brings me inexpressible joy that the mind that focuses on doctrines of this world cannot not know and therefore you cannot understand me or wherte I am going. In other place I told him that that I didn’t think that he was teaching of the Spirit in fact I doubted that he even had the Spirit in him.
 
Reformed Theology teaches doctrine even as wrong as it is, but Reformed Theology leaves out a personal relationship with God and they leave out the Holy Spirit completely.
 
Now, about the question regarding the mansion. I haven’t been to the new house, but I was at the old house. It was quite large. The thing is, when I was at that house his ministry was still small and he was much more person oriented. He loves baseball, football and basketball. In fact he had a tryout with the Washinngton Redskins. I remember going to a retreat and he was the guest speaker. He spent the whole afternoon with me getting to know me. That met a lot to me. But that has all changed. He and I are only two months apart in age. I have seen this man change from a reasonably speaking fair human being to a dictator worse than the pope. When the Master;s College came into play, that changed the whole structure of the church. The church would send him around the world. NOw I understand there is even an academy in John’s honor in one countryl. It is spreading so fast and your right Mark, it is time to do something about it. People are getting tripped into this. It isn’t just Grace but so many others you come to the shepherd’s conference learn then take MacArthurism to their church. I saw on the internet by one who says it is like a one-world church. That is scary for me since I know so many people who still go there but have no idea what is going on because the staff feelings they have to ‘PROTECT THEIR FLOCK” I can tell you this about John’s finances. He makes mega bucks. Every time a book is sold he get royalties. Every time Grace to You is broadcasted he gets royalties. The guy is loaded. Do you think he is going to give all of that up and his reputation by repenting of sin he doesn’t think he has? No way. That tells me he has no conscious mind toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ who was rich went into poverty for us. Paul says when he was a Pharisee of Pharisee, and found blameless, he gave up everyrthing to know Christ and be found in Him. We considered it as rubbish. But MacArthur wouln’t do this. He has an empire. People idolize him. They want to be a part of what he is doing. Boy, they blinded. Again I haven’t to his current residence but I can tell you that it is in a high-rent district…
 
Next, anything that I can do to help expose this most dangerous theology church and man I will be happy to help out.
 
…I am excited about what I am in Christ, I am excited about us sharing this with each other, and I am excited to find people like me who want to expose this cult in the name of the truth of the pure gospel and not the gospel according to MacArthur.
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 22, 2013 11:19PM
 
I was a member of GCC for twenty years…I can tell you that Mahaney was a member of the UN and is very dangerous in the efforts against the true gospel of Christ. I think we need to be very careful and accurate in our efforts to fight against this most dangerous and Satan driven cult. I know MacArthur personally
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 24, 2013 05:33AM
 
I have a friend of mine who I had in AWANA when he was a third grader. He loves me and I want to let him know that is going on at Grace because his sister is still there. I have to be gentle with him and help him through this so I can show him how wrong GCC is. He told me about his family members all of which I know and then another family. Both the parents of both families are divorced. It doesn’t matter of John teaches against divorce, when the Bible is taught wrong, people are going to do what they feel is right in their own eyes. One of the boys I had in AWANA got married then had a divorce because the wife used drugs. His mother who I know very well is in a mental home because she had a nervous breakdown. His sister works there and charges family members $200 a session to see their mother. INSANE. That is the result of teaching at GCC. Peoples lives are being turned upside down because JM uses hard theology of the reformist on people.
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 26, 2013 08:31PM
 
…This is a dangerous cult and like Immel I was steeped in it and God took Me out. I must say, I threw all of MacArthur’s tapes and books out. If I am going to document him I can get it on the internet because his lies are all over the place and you can get so much info how he twists the scriptures to puff himself up and tear everybody else down.
 
We have to remember one thing. These people that promote Calvinsism and even the Armenianism which I don’t go along with either have to face Christ when they die in this body. I believe they are all going to plead like the rich man in Luke 16. They will have to live in that doctrine in hell for the rest of their lives because it is not just the doctrine, it is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Because I believe the Holy Spirit is in us to help us know Christ, not the doctrines of the devil such as Calvinism is.
 
Posted by: Mysteryofthegospel
Date: January 27, 2013 08:42PM
 
…Then when they find such men as Mahoney an Mohler and others to back up their thinking, then it adds to their belief system. This is what has happened to John MacArthur. It is a sad commentary in my mind how God’s truth is turned into a lie and passed down to so many people to listen to this every week.
 

10.  Testimony of a Christian who spent many years in a Macarthur-network church
 
Posted by: Lass o’ the Glen
Date: March 13, 2013 11:34AM
 
…Innocent believers find their way into JM’s teachings through their genuine desire to love God and His Church… Nouthetic counseling is an aberrant counseling method…but its roots lay deep within the hubris of JM’s patriarchal fundamentalist authoritarianism, which IMO should be the main focus of criticism.
 
JM’s network operates as if God grants a special measure of grace and authority to pastors JM has trained. This goes against what the Bible clearly teaches about the Holy Spirit and the priesthood of all believers. TMS reinforces this spiritual elitism. When a TMS pastor is puffed up with scriptural knowledge and the belief that God has uniquely anointed him with authority, it won’t be long before he thinks he has the right to dictate to and sit in judgment of his spiritually inferior fellow believers. TMS pastors impress people with their knowledge and cause believers to doubt their Holy Spirit guided understanding of the Scriptures. I would even go so far as to say that these pastors impose themselves between believers and the Spirit. They routinely assert that theirs is the only valid interpretation, and anyone who doesn’t hold to their interpretation is hellbound. They insist we can’t be trusted with interpreting the Bible for ourselves because our hearts are wicked and easily deceived. This implies that they believe that their own hearts are not.
 
This teaching causes great fear and more than a little cognitive dissonance in anyone who can still hear the Spirit and desires to walk with God. This dissonance leads to despair and self-condemnation, and the believer is crushed under the spiritual and emotional burden placed upon him. He has two choices: remain in the JM network and slap a *happy*shiny*face* over his self-doubt and despair, or make a run for the border. Making a run for it is often easier said than done because all the believer’s familial and social connections are usually tied into the church, so many sit and suffer in silence.
 
The other side of the coin are those believers who for whatever reason find affirmation and personal satisfaction in their affiliation with JM. Whether they too are operating from spiritual pride or merely practicing celebrity pastor worship, I’m not certain. I do know that the people I personally know who attend GCC are some of the most anxious, pessimistic and joyless people I’ve ever met. I feel sorry for them. Which is why I’m here.
 
Posted by: Lass o’ the Glen
Date: March 25, 2013 11:12PM
 
…I’ve been in a JM network church for a very long time. I lived through the shift from what you experienced at TMC in the 1990’s to where JM’s doctrines stand today.  JM has blended Calvinist soteriology with premill./dispensational eschatology and patched it together with Lordship Salvation. What you get with this is a lot of burdened, fearful, spiritually elitist people who have no peace, no freedom and no assurance of the love and grace of God.
 
People in these churches are so overwhelmed with guilt over their sins (little things like overeating and poor housekeeping) that they themselves ask to be publicly disciplined for them. They view normal stumblings, doubts or emotional lows as evidence that they were never saved in the first place, so you will see people in these churches get rebaptized whenever they come out of a low point in their faith. I’m convinced that their need to maintain a spiritual high is the primary reason they chase after celebrity pastors like rock stars, gobbling up their books and hopping from one RBD conference to another.
 
JM network church leaders always insist that what they teach is orthodox, nondenominational and Bible-centered. When confronted with the fact that their teaching is neo-Calvinistic, they’ll deny it and say it’s merely genuine Christian teaching. Since they do not recognize any other doctrine as being genuinely Christian, they do not recognize their doctrine as being neo-Calvinistic. To them their doctrine is truth and all others are error. You can’t convince them otherwise.
 
Posted by: Lass o’ the Glen
Date: June 07, 2013 02:17AM
 
…If people would only stop and compare JM’s teachings against the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD they’d see that JM’s teachings do not line up with it. GCC/TMS/TMC seem humanistic in their elevating the doctrines and disciplines of men above the salvic work of Christ on the cross and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It’s beginning to look as though JM and his institutions deny the Trinity in their beliefs and practices.

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